Southwest Virginia Population decline 2010-2018.

Caterpillar Plant Closure Costs Pulaski County 240 Jobs

Bluefield Daily Telegraph November 27, 2013 - closure of the Caterpillar mining equipment plant in Pulaski, Va., is another troubling blow to the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. The company announced last week that it will be shutting down its mining equipment plant in Pulaski, laying off 240 workers and moving the mining equipment production to its plant in Houston, Pa...The closure and move is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

The Pulaski facility made scoops, coal haulers and other mining equipment, according to the Associated Press. ... Earlier this year, the company also announced that it was shifting production at its Tazewell, Va., and Beckley facilities to the Pennsylvania plant...
Yet there is more to this story:
Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Russell, said last week. Pulaski is located in Puckett's 38th Senatorial district. "The jobs in Pulaski were some of the best jobs in the area. I don�t think that the coal industry is dead. I�ve seen nothing on the front burner that replaces 40 percent of our energy needs right now. Coal has a role to play in the future, but what we really need is a national energy policy that will include coal."

The rest of the rticle goes on about Republicans blaming Obama and the EPA, but they have wasted millions in Tobacco and other grants that was supposed to wean the region away from the coal industry which is in decline more because of natural gas being cheap than the EPA. They are more to blame than the EPA.

Puckett is another example of this corruption - he too was on the Tobacco Commission and he too pilfered millions for his pet projects and cronies. In 2014 he was caught up in a scandal of resigning his State Senate seat accused of getting a cushy six-figure job with the Tobacco Commission. He didn't get the job and another political food fight erupted in Richmond.

History of Local Poverty

Ralph Stanley Museum.

"The most corrupt region is Southwest Virginia...more indictments for political and public office corruption have happened in this region than all other parts of the state combined." Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Governmental Studies.

"It's a little-known fact that roughly 20 percent of the children in Southwest Virginia live below the poverty line and go hungry every night." Kevin Crutchfield, President Alpha Natural Resources, January 15, 2009

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