Posted November 1st 2010 at 10:20 am by
in Kentucky, The Thoughtful Coal Miner

The Commonwealth of Virginia: Which side are you on?

It is a sad notion when the Commonwealth of Virginia appears to pride itself more in the coal production of four counties (and the environmental devastation that occurs there) than to pay homage to one of the most spectacular scenic drives in these United States. An article published online by the Blue Ridge Country Magazine explains that after six years and two failed attempts, a Blue Ridge Parkway specialty plate may finally come to Virginia if enough residents commit to purchase them.

In the mean time, the Virginia Mining Association was able to lobby and receive the 350 necessary applicants to have a Friends of Coal license plate tag approved in May of 2010 according to this article on

The Blue Ridge Parkway, now celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary, is over 469 miles of Appalachian beauty, 216.9 miles of which are in Virginia. Many publications have touted it as one of the most scenic drives in the United States or even America’s Favorite Drive.

How is it that Friends of Coal, an organization that has only been around for a decade, could have their tag approved so quickly?

Please support the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway tag. You may get details on how to do so by following this link to the Friends of the Blue Ridge website.

Daniel Hawkins is a former coal miner from Virginia. Having finally gotten fed up with current labor practices and environmental destruction within today’s Appalachian coal mines, he has left the mines in search of a better future for his family. In this series, he looks into Appalachia’s past and possibilities for the future. You can find his full series on his own blog, This post originally appeared on Daniel’s blog on Thursday, October 28, 2010.

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