[SLIDESHOW] Wildcat Coal Lodge: Trustees approve name amid protests

By Roy York
Student and community protesters filled the 18th floor of the Patterson Office Tower to express scathing disapproval as the Board of Trustees approved a motion to include “coal” in the name of the new Wildcat Lodge on Tuesday. But the shouts fell on deaf ears.

In a quick vote, board members voted 16-3 to name the future Wildcat Lodge the “Wildcat Coal Lodge” at the request of Joseph W. Craft III, the president of Alliance Coal who donated $7 million to be given over a 10-year period for the construction of the new residence hall. The only three board members who dissented were faculty representative Ernie Yanarella, staff representative Robynn Pease and Student Government President Ryan Smith.

Smith said the new Wildcat Lodge will allow UK to house more students and has potential to be a model for clean coal technology on campus, but said he would oppose the motion “as a voice for the student body.” However, protesting students did not need Smith’s words to have their voices heard.

After the vote, students and community members jumped from their chairs and approached the ropes separating board members from the audience. Shouts of  “We all live downstream,” “Move forward not backward” and “Remember Joe B.” stopped the meeting cold.

The board adjourned for a short recess and several members, including President Lee Todd, retired to a back room as students continued criticizing board members. UK Police eventually approached the protesters and the group left the meeting. No citations or arrests were made.

Students and other protesters were not allowed to speak formally during the meeting because they did not follow the formal process to be placed on the meeting agenda, Todd said.

Todd said the name was approved simply because the university accepted a proposal from a group of donors who wished to fund the new residence hall. They had an idea for the name of the building and the naming committee approved the suggestion, he said.

“We sign agreements with all donors and there are always stipulations,” Todd said.

Board members sparred over the issue as points were raised on both sides.

“This sets a precedent of identifying industry with university property,” Yanarella said. “Had Phillip Morris given $7 million, there would be similar objections.”

The UK Athletic Association reported the $7 million gift was the largest it has ever received.

The majority of the board felt the naming proposal would not harm the university, and many said coal was a natural resource and a vital part of Kentucky’s economy.

“I consider coal to be a source of great pride,” Jo Curris, a finance committee member, said. “Coal can very well be that mechanism that is going to retrigger the economy for the Commonwealth.”

Pro “Wildcat Coal Lodge” board member comments drew angry shouts from the crowd and protesters were eager to share their outrage.

“It appears Lee Todd wants to have his cake and eat it too,” said Nathan LeClaire, a philosophy junior and a member of UK Greenthumb. “He wants to appear green without walking the walk.”

Danny Cotton, a senior English major and a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, said UK has never named a building after a single industry or lobbying group, and he said the move makes Todd’s sustainability initiative harder to be taken seriously.

“We didn’t name the library the ‘Peanut Butter Library,’ we named it the William T. Young Library,” Cotton said.

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This just once again proves the university is bought and paid for by donors. From corporate deals for athletics to selling buildings. The board does not care about education. I thought that was the purpose of a university. How about using that 7 million to lower tuition? Wouldn’t that help families in Kentucky more than a new building for the spoiled basketball players who combined have the IQ of a turkey. What does it show future students that the university leadership can bribed so easily…

Tyler Wright, I would also have to respectfully disagree. Mountain top removal is designed, was from the start, to take the workforce out of the mining process. In WVa in the 50s there were between 125,000 and 145,000 miners; in 2004…16,000. Yeah the amount of coal produced is close to the same but the work force isn’t. Most of what you said had to do with the coal companies making money, but there are bigger problems then that. Of course if the coal companies cared about the people, the ones who live around the mountains they are destroying, they would use that money so that the area wouldn’t be one of the poorest.


I said nothing to you about “knee jerk reactions.” If you’re not having them, then clearly I was not talking to you.

Hi John,

That person you referenced would be me and no, I did not reference slavery for shock value. If you look at the context of the statement I made that Mallory was talking about, I was making a point about how we have historically legitimized many things damaging to society using the same methods that are used to legitimize the current reliance upon coal.

-Craig Chamberlain

Surface mining (and by this, I am assuming you are referring to the surface mining method of Mountain Top Removal and Development) does not take away jobs. On the contrary, it provides jobs, not only with the industry itself, but also in the development of the land once reclamation is complete. The reclaimed, level land can be used for many applications that would not have been possible before. Hospitals, community centers, airports, other industries, recreation and parks are a few uses. All of these represent potential jobs. Also, in the future, when wind energy is more economic, where would you put the wind turbines in Appalachia? A reclaimed mountain top removal site is the most beneficial (and only feasible) location for them to produce any relevant amount of energy.

Less than 1% of Appalachia will be touched by mountain top removal. The coal mined here, though in thinner seams and, therefore, less amounts, is a slightly higher grade of coal and burns more efficiently than lignite or sub-bituminous with less ash. Basically, you get more heat production per ton of coal which means more energy per ton of coal.

-Craig Chamberlain and Joe

And I guess the students who support coal are just chopped liver? I support coal and I am a student. I agree completely with the decision made by the board and Dr. Todd. I have been victimized by professors who are biased against my beliefs. They don’t have to parade coal for students but it would be nice if any references made to coal were at least impartial. It’s not fair that I receive a bad grade for a well written and well researched paper just because it is in support of the coal industry.


As far as the board not doing anything to help students, what about the smoke-free campus to come this November? Although, I don’t know that this strict policy was necessary, I appreciate it, being a person who does not smoke.

I don’t think the name of a building on campus could have as much effect as to throw sustainability out of the window, anyway; however, coal is a part of sustainability. As I have mentioned above, renewables are a good and necessary thing but all energy sources are required for our future.

-Lisa C.

I am offended (I would infer that this was an intention) by your comment about knee jerk reactions. I feel that I have consistently provided valid and factual reasoning for coal’s importance. Mostly not on your part, I will admit, but I would moreso consider many reactions coming from the opposition to be “knee jerk” and emotionally based. We, as an industry, have time and again made improvements and continue to do so in every aspect to meet the demands of those who do not agree with us. We are federally regulated and must conform to so many laws, that alumni have suggested they provide us a class to solely cover MSHA regulations. These laws touch on everything from reclamation to the maximum distance my self rescuer can be from me (25 feet).

I am a certified underground miner for the state of Kentucky. The company I work for puts safety above and beyond production not only because they care about their people but for the obvious reason: a safe mine is a productive mine. These two aspects are in direct correlation; you cannot have one without the other. Not one miner that I came into contact with said anything to make me think that they did not trust the company they worked for. So how do they get screwed? They make good money, better than any other job that can be obtained without a lot of education. We had regular health checks for pneumoconiosis and other diseases that are more prominent from working underground. By federal law, if an employee is in danger of contracting any disease or work related illness, the company is required to move them to a location that is less prone for that illness with no reduction of pay no matter what the occupation change. The mine I work for, along with all the mines owned by this company, is not even union. It is apparent that they believe they are being treated fairly.

I’m not saying that all mines are this well regulated and kept but it is increasingly becoming uneconomical, and really just idiotic, for a mine not to pay close attention to the safety of their miners.

An industry that compensates it’s employees and encourages further education, provides excellent health care packages, emphasizes safety, and ultimately forces NO PERSON to work under them compares in no way to the forced enslavement of another human being.

Any person that compares the two is simply trying to attain support by generating shock value.

Mallory, thanks for the snarky remarks and “common sense” you laid upon me, but I said nothing about supporting the Waxman bill.

If you want to talk semantics about global warming, climate change, or the greenhouse effect, go at it. Conservatives tend to like calling it “climate change” because it sound less harmful. Its not much of a debate anymore really. The EPA says, “The largest source of CO2 emissions globally is the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in power plants, automobiles, industrial facilities and other sources.” Where did you get that 99% of carbon emissions are from “natural sources?” http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatechange/emissions/co2_human.html

Also, why are you surprised by my comparison between slavery and the coal industry? Do you know how global capital works?

Are any of the “pro coal” people on this list even UK students?

Coal is *not* the future of this nation or even this state. We’ll run out of coal in my lifetime.

I’m from Eastern KY – and still have family there, but I do to UK right now.

One of my neighbors back home was killed by a coal tuck a few years ago and my cousin suffers from asthma because of the trucks that go by his house every day, kicking up dust in the narrow holler.

When I visit them, they warn me not to drink the water because it’s poisoned from blasting. I’ve seen in the local grocery store that there’s an entire aisle just for jugs of water.

I’ve seen houses blown off of their foundations, I’ve seen people suffering from black lung, I’ve seen roads destroyed by coal trucks, and I’ve seen mine owners, politicians, and “inspectors” alike look the other way because they’re too bought off to do anything else.

Coal isn’t our future – but we’ll destroy all of the land and people it takes to get that last seam of coal in my home county and realize at the end of it that we’ve left only a desolate wasteland with no hope of a long-term, sustainable future… unless we lift ourselves up now and challenge ourselves to go in another direction instead.

For those who are discouraged by this development, always remember that the course of history is defined by progressive people moving forward, often fighting those who fear change or who have a vested interest in keeping things held back. But history favors the bold and innovative, and this country moves forward, with the naysayers kicking and screaming all the way, until what at first seemed new and scary becomes the accepted norm, and the naysayers pretend like they were for it all along. No matter how much the coal industry spends trying to make themselves look good, we’ll get off coal eventually, because it is a finite resource and because the world is naturally moving towards cleaner, renewable fuels. Unfortunately, it looks like Kentucky is going to be left behind while states like Minnesota, California, Rhode Island and even New Jersey take the lead in investing in the renewable energy future that’s ahead.

Dave, you said listen to people in the coal fields, well I fall into that group! So listen to me. After reading all of the posts on here, I still can’t understand why so many people were protesting having coal in the name of a building, that is ridiculous. If someone donates $7 million dollars, he should be able to make one simple request!

TO JOE: As far as you saying Mallory if full of it, I agree! Mallory, Jarrod, Tyler and several others are FULL OF FACTS! They seem to be the only ones that are defending their thoughts based on facts, not simply opinions. I have no intention of working in the coal mines when I graduate, but I do support each and every individual who chose that as a profession. In fact, I am a nursing major, and when I go back home to work, I will more than likely work at Hazard ARH, which was built on top of a strip mine, therefore, coal mining has provided me with a place of employment. As a citizen of eastern Kentucky, I know the benefits that coal mining has provided to people in the area. My family has worked in the coal mines, and some currently do, and I assure you that without the mines there would be no way of supporting their families. In the summer I work at the Knott County Human Service Center where we are responsible for the “Meals on Wheels” program that feeds hundreds on senior citizens across the county. Without the funding from coal severance tax, not only would many people be without a job, but many senior citizens would be without a hot meal and home health services. As far as evolution, that is irrelevant to the topic of coal mining, and is just a nice way for you to state another one of your opinions without fact. I believe that people are very eager to bash an industry they know very little about!

Craig Chamberlain I will have to respectful disagree with some of your statements geared toward surface mining. Your statements on surface mining are common among college students who are unfamiliar with mining. I am a mining engineer and I occasionally speak with students from various colleges and universities (UK, EKU, Berea, Cincinnati, WKU, NKU, etc.) who visit different surface mines for school related trips. They observe the various steps of mining at a mine in Leslie County and I answer any questions that they may have. Most have no knowledge of mining and they bring up the same points you make. Prior to observing active mining, the question is asked: “Why don’t you mine the coal underground?” The simple answer is it is not feasible and they understand once we visit an active pit. My job mines coal in three different seams. The seam highest on the mountain is 20″-24″ thick and is high enough on the ridges that it would be impossible to mine underground (no competent rock for roof control). The next seam has 44″-48″ of coal with rock splits in the coal seam. This seam would be mineable underground because there is enough competent rock over the coal seam to safely extract the coal. Next, we mine our last coal seam consisting of 24″ of coal with 6′-8′ of parting (rock) and then the bottom coal seam is 24″ thick. This coal could not economically be mined underground because of mining so much rock. We mine a total of approximately 10′ of coal. The only underground minable seam is not mined underground because of the topography of the land. When you eliminated the coal that did not have at least 100′-125′ of rock above it we would be left with ridges that would have an underground mining boundary of 10-20 acres. The cost of installing an underground mine and the quick timeframe this reserve would be depleted eliminates any economic advantage to mine this coal underground. If this area was mined underground then any chance of mining the other two seams of coal would be lost. Then we have lost 6′ of recoverable coal. There are other advantages to surface mining this coal. All of the coal mined from this job is ‘direct ship’. This means we are able to split the rock parting from the coal seams in the pit and directly ship the coal to the train load out. This removes the need to clean the coal by removing the rock in a processing plant to make a saleable product. This also eliminates the need for rock from the cleaning process to go to a slurry impoundment.
The other big misconception about your statement is the land issue. A lot of people claim coal companies are destroy “our” mountains. The mountains we mine are not “our” mountains. The land is owned by private citizens and private companies that give permission to mine their land and in return receive monetary gain. The landowners are included in the discussion of how the land is restored. Many times they request “flat land” so they can use their land. All of the people who have toured my mine have stated they would rather have the land post mining than pre-mining. This land is originally rugged and serves the landowner very little purpose but after mining it can be usable. The private entities decide what to do with their land and I feel this should always be the case.
Lastly, you said we mine less coal and employ fewer men than underground mines. The mine I keep referring to employs 58 people. If it was not for this surface mine, not one of them would have a job in this area. As far as mining less coal, surface mines and underground mines produce roughly the same amount of coal per the benchmark coal companies use; “tons per man hour”. Through surface mining, we recover 92%- 95% of the coal reserve. If the one seam I stated could be mined underground, if the boundary was large enough, the maximum recovery of the coal reserve would be 58%-60%. The shallow nature of this seam does not allow retreat mining which would maximize the recovery of the reserve. In reality we are employing more people by surface mining and more efficiently recovering the coal reserve.
Craig, I did not mean for this to be a personal attack. There were some common misconceptions about surface mining in your statement. I have this knowledge from growing up in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky, having a mining engineering degree, and working for a coal company full time. I have the first hand experience that you do not. Coal mining is not as simple as “blowing off the tops of mountains.”

Take some time to learn about coal in Kentucky. Don’t just listen to the coal companies because they have the multi-million dollar PR campaigns and can cut $7 million dollar checks to make themselves look good – and buy politicians outright.

Listen to the actual people in the coal fields who have to live with blasting, destroyed water resources, and other problems related to coal mining.

Here’s some background –

Isn’t “Wildcat coal mining” an explicit reference to illegal, destructive mine practices? Maybe we should have a plaque about that in the new lodge, huh?

Hey – maybe next time the donor will be from Tennessee and we can call it the Volunteers Lodge.

And if the Board of Trustees 3 members who represent the Students, Faculty, and Staff all voted against this name change… who the hell do those other 16 people represent?

I’m very proud of the students, KFTC, and Greenthumb members who spoke out on this issue – and very disappointed in the Board of Trustees for doing everything they can to bring in more money – even for things we don’t need.

Seriously – have you seen the inside of the Joe B. Hall Wildcat lodge? It’s absurdly nice as it is.

Craig Chamberlain stated “Surface mining takes away jobs (and produces less coal), pollutes water, etc., so you would think that the people in EKY would be in support of ending it.” How exactly does surface mining take away jobs? Surface mining does produce less coal than underground mining but it is nearly equal. According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), surface mining in Kentucky provided 50,849,000 short tons out of a 120,323,000 total. Take nearly half of the production of coal away and nearly the half the jobs go with it. Not to mention the rise in electricity cost that would follow. Most people in eastern Kentucky would never support ending an industry that brings them so many benefits. Coal mines provide many people in Eastern Kentucky a job, either directly or indirectly. The coal industry paid $1.035 billion in direct wages in 2006, directly employing 17, 669 persons and indirectly providing 3 additional jobs for every miner employed. Not only people from Eastern Kentucky are impacted, the Kentucky coal industry brought $3.5 billion into Kentucky from out-of-state during the fiscal year 2005-06 through coal sales to customers in 30 other states and 4 foreign countries! That is a huge sum of money that Kentucky would otherwise never seen had western and eastern Kentucky not mined coal! Coal severance tax is used for many things, including providing jobs, keeping up roadways, and providing funding to educational systems across the state. Kentucky coal companies paid $221.42 million in coal severance taxes in the fiscal year 2005-06. The reclaimed strip mines are also very enjoyable for people in the area. If these areas are not used to industrialize eastern Kentucky, by building shopping centers, hospitals, airports, ect., then it makes a great place for hunters in the area to hunt. These lands are also the homes to the newly reintroduced elk herd. No matter how the strip mine is used, it does impact the citizens in eastern Kentucky in a positive way, which is why most people in EKY don’t support ending coal mining.

Mallory is full of it.

Global warming is a fact. 90% percent of scientists agree. Those who don’t are the same ones who don’t believe in evolution. The fact that you are against legislation to clean the air and help the environment doesn’t surprise me given that you support coal. I bet you were also against the Clean Water Act or regulations on polluters.

You hope to work in coal so no wonder you are so blind the facts.

-Lisa C.

I believe the correct term is now “climate change” instead of global warming, considering many scientists cannot decide whether the earth is really warming or cooling because there is no clear trend. More than 99% of carbon emissions are released from our natural surroundings. I don’t know that the small amount given off by the world’s industries can have a huge effect on that.

Just a little bit of factual “common sense” that supports coal and many other industries.

By the way, if you do your math, the Waxman-Markey bill, if passed, will cost the nation 9 billion dollars to decrease the average temperature by no more than 0.02 degrees F within the next 50 years. Not to mention, that this will have no effect on other nations such as China, who have no regard for efforts to offset this “global warming”.

Another bit of “common sense” that in no way threatens coal or any other industries.

Also, I am surprised by your comparison between slavery and the coal industry. I find it hard to believe that human bondage and energy production should even remotely be in the same category.


I am in no way belittling the students for exercising their right to protest. They have just as much a right to that as I do to post my opinions on this web site. It is a genuine concern of mine that people (definitely not just students) are so quick to jump on a bandwagon against coal because of a flawed history of the industry. We do not deny that coal mining has had rough development stages. However, if people would look into the improvements and regulations that have been set in place for safety in the mine working environment and to decrease the negative environmental impact, they would realize that this industry is not just some Big Coal sitting on its untouchable hill with all of its money disregarding the concerns of the people around it. It is changing and adaptable to the needs of the people it affects.

As far as hiding behind postings, unfortunately, I had a Mine Power Systems exam today during the time of the board meeting so I was unable to attend. Shame on me for working so hard to someday be a part of an industry vital to the progress of our nation and for trying to take up for that which will be the basis of my future career. Pardon me for resorting to my right to free press.

Sabrina, you said,
“And for Lisa that says that it is crazy to say “that people that think that coal is so bad to do there part and cut the power to there house”, it is absolutely relevent. Where exactly do you think that your electricty comes from?”

Where did I mention the word “crazy?” I didn’t. And I clearly do know where electricity comes from. I said so. You missed the whole point of my post. Please do not misquote me.

Why do many who get angered at critiques of coal assume that the people critiquing it aren’t from eastern Kentucky? I am from eastern Kentucky but that doesn’t blind me to the facts of the coal industry. But coming from there doesn’t matter- it won’t grant legitimacy to my critiques according to pro-coal pundits. It never does. Mention a critique of coal and all you hear are knee jerk reactions, “you’re taking our jobs,” “there is no alternative,” “if you don’t like it, you can get out!” I’m so sick of this. Where is logic and sound reasoning in 99% of these comments?

I think most of the people critical of using coal care. They’re not taking up the issue to be “hip.” They care deeply about everyone in eastern Kentucky who has increased rates of asthma, dirty drinking water, and destroyed ecosystems. They care about the world we all have to share, the air we all have to breathe, and they care about the laborers who ultimately get screwed by the coal corporations that have always put profit before people.

So much for Todd’s pSustainability Advisory Committee, which includes the following:

Publicize and communicate current university sustainability initiatives to the university community

Promote and encourage sustainable best practices in university facility planning, design, and construction

Develop an annual set of committee goals and planned actions designed to further promote and advance an institutional culture of sustainability

Out the window.

Ya down with the students. It’s not like it’s their university. It’s not like their tuition pays for anything. Ya who gives a damn what they say or want.

The lesson today is education doesn’t mean squat to the board. They don’t care about students and would throw any of them in front of a bus if it meant they could make money. I don’t mean figuratively, I mean they would actually do it. They have no done one thing in my time here to help students. Not one.

Also included in the stipulations was a provision that coal be taught in a positive light. Any professor who raises questions about coal will lose tenure and be dismissed.

No one is saying that we should stop using coal immediately. That won’t and can’t happen. We need coal in the transition to more reliable resources. No one is saying anything about the miners ether. The ones who go down into the mines are a very brave group of hard working people and should be respected. But, blowing the top off of a mountain is not a respectable industry or profession, especially to the land, and its people. Surface mining takes away jobs (and produces less coal), pollutes water, etc., so you would think that the people in EKY would be in support of ending it.

Anyway, to the real topic at hand. Calling the dorm “Wildcat Coal Lodge” just goes to show that UK is up for sale to the highest bidder, that the board and Todd do not remotely care about the students, and that the only green big blue cares about is money. Today they proved to us all that the university is Todd/the board’s whore.

Pimentel is convinced, based on his research that when all fourteen types of energy inputs are included in the production of biofuels — especially ethanol from corn — that there is a net energy loss, not a gain, however modest, as others contend. He sees ethanol production as “relatively energy intensive.”
Pimentel is just a pessimistic about wood waste and switch grass, neither of which he contends are positive energy producers when compared to oil and gas.
The term “Renewable Energy” is commonly used these days and everybody seems to have a pretty good idea what it means or stands for. Instant associations of this term include solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity and perhaps biomass and biofuels. Renewable Energy is heralded as the saviour of our planet for a power hungry civilization who is currently burning fossil fuels to meet an ever increasing power demand. But is it true that we could go about business as usual, continue on the same road of ever increasing energy demand, if only we switched to 100% Renewable Energy? To answer this question, let’s go back to the basics of physics: consider, energy cannot be produced, generated, recycled or renewed. It can only be converted (from one state into another). However, every time we perform a conversion, it comes at a cost called entropy, which is a loss of useful or available energy. In thermodynamics, energy is made up of two components: entropy and enthalpy. Entropy is diffuse heat energy, many times associated with waste heat from mechanical or chemical processes and represents – to the largest extent – the useless component of energy that is unavailable to carry out work. Entropy is also associated with the level of disorder in a system. Enthalpy on the other side is the useful (non-diffuse) energy component that we can readily use to carry out work. Thermodynamics teach us that every time we use enthalpic energy (eg change it from a state of stored chemical energy into mechanical work) the total entropy of the system in which it occurs (our planet) increases. The larger the energy potentia, the larger is the amount of useful work we get from it. And here we are at the core of the problem: the entropy of a system (heat and disorder) increases over time as enthalpic energy is spent. This process is irreversible and forever reduces the usability of useful energy that remains. For this reason, fundamentally and despite popular believe, there is no such thing as “Renewable Energy”. Out of all sustainable energy initiatives available, the drastic reduction of our energy demand, also know as “demand side abatement” is the single most important one. If we continue to increase our energy consumption, even if we use “renewable” sources exclusively, we will necessarily also continue to increase the entropy, waste heat and resulting temperature in our planet’s atmosphere. Before we started burning fossil fuels, our planet was in good balance between the sun’s radiation absorbed and the heat earth re-radiated into space. This balance depends on many factors, including the gas composition of the atmosphere and cloud cover, however their individual roles and interdependencies in context with radiation absorbed and re-radiated are complex and still poorly understood. As we are running out of time to fix the problems associated with climate change, we cannot afford to take new chances and make assumptions about the safe and abundant use of “renewable” energies. Instead, we should take the more conservative view that we live on a planet with limited, finite resources, the use of which produces an ever increasing entropy. Since this process is irreversible, the best strategy for us is to reduce our energy consumption and thereby extend our lease.

Cornell professor Dr. David Pimentel’s address to the Sustainable Energy Forum’s 2006 Peak Oil and Environment conference.

Okay now we stop w/the “at least they come to protest and do not hide behind screen names”. I absolutely believe that they have every right to protest heck I have even been involved in a strike and that is a form of protesting. I am saying that they are not thinking about what all that Coal does for them. And for Lisa that says that it is crazy to say “that people that think that coal is so bad to do there part and cut the power to there house”, it is absolutely relevent. Where exactly do you think that your electricty comes from? We are trying to stay postitive but for people that don’t live around here in Southeastern KY to come in and think that “THEY” know what is best for us people who work hard and try to make an honest living powering and warming this great country, it gets us a little fired up!!! We do not have other resources right now and to shut coal out completely right now w/no other resources is just stupid, I don’t know about you but I like my heating bill at a rate that I can afford. Coal Mining has been around for decades and they work very hard and they deserve respect from anybody that has the luxury of being able to turn on their lights or log onto a computer to protest the people and the very resource that gave them that oppurtunity. I don’t see any enviromental groups going to a office building in the city and protesting that they not use so much paper for all the paperwork, that is killing the trees isn’t it? Isn’t that an enviromental concern or is it just cool to attack COAL because that is what the president thinks is the hip thing to do?

I find it disturbing that so many people are posting comment criticizing the student protestors. Protesting is not only a basic right guaranteed to U.S. citizens, but it is also an important part of our society and democratic heritage. These students were courageous enough to show up and voice their opposition in person. They did not hide between user names or anonymous postings on a message board. Whether you agree with their position or not, no one has the right to belittle them.

For those who say, “unless you want to sit in the dark, don’t complain about coal” how do you think positive change ever happens in society? Until the way we generate power is completely overhauled and made sustainable, coal will be the primary way we generate power. Those who protest the use of coal for power are speaking out within the pre-existing structure. Just because coal is currently used to supply electricity does not make it the best option or the only option or the most just option we should strive toward.

We’ve overcome and are still overcoming a lot of inequality and foolish thinking as a society- from slavery to segregation to sexism and homophobia. At one time slavery was thought to be just as justified by social elites, politicians, religious leaders, and a large portion of the citizens. I’ve heard the same justifications from all sides regarding the reliance upon coal.

The coal industry is threatened by common sense and evidence of global warming, that’s why they feel the need for the PR campaign.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. “

-Michael Vick Jackson-Myers

No, you don’t get it. People who are against coal mining are essentially the same people who want to stop electricity altogether, unless you are fine with paying more than quadruple the price of electricity right now for service that is spotty and unreliable. You probably don’t think about it now, but you might if you walked into your house, flipped the light switch and had to wait for an at-best flickering bulb to come on. Like I said earlier, you can’t expect the change overnight and the road to get us there is made of coal.

Wildcat Coal Lodge sounds great to me!


Here is a project where the nation’s 2 largest coal companies, coupled with many companies from around the world, are working to create a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois. This is an improvement on the world’s first clean coal power plant opened earlier this year in Germany. Carbon capture is real, and will lessen coals environmental footprint. Progress like this is being made throughout the coal industry worldwide, although it is not widely acknowledged by the opposition.

Why do people complain about things that benefit? The Coal lodge will bring in more recruits and Kentucky basketball will be restored to what it once was known as. Hell Billy Gillespie brought with him a worse name than coal and we gladly gave him money for his efforts as a coach. He didn’t produce anything but bar tabs…Despite the nonbelievers, Coal is a big part of this state and contributes millions of tax dollars. Who in their right mind would turn down 7 million dollars?

UK students should do their research on coal and its importance to the state, our nation and their own lives before protesting it on campus. Coal is crucial to our lives today and will continue to be for at least the next 50 years before we can economically and efficiently develop renewable resources. We are not against renewables, we just realize the implausibility of instant gratification for those who think we can just “turn coal off” and “turn wind and solar on” and still have the same reliable, affordable electricity that coal provides. The financial support coal provides for a large number of Kentucky families is unreplaceable at this moment. Coal mines (along with almost EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY) are not the unsafe places they used to be. Clean coal is absolutely attainable; unfortunately, the people who want to complain about it not being clean are the same people who are standing in the way of legislation allowing us to make it cleaner.

I, as a senior at the University of Kentucky and a native of the Western Kentucky Coal field, am a strong supporter of coal. Coal has already done so much for UK and now the industry wants to share more of its wealth and we show a completely ungrateful facade? Why shouldn’t Big Coal bring in Big Money? It’s the reason we have any and every technology we have today. A coal miner’s job, though significantly improved within the last several decades, is still a very hard job. They more than deserve what they make.

University of Kentucky Undergraduate in Mining Engineering, Class of ’10

You people really just don’t get it, do you?

No one has said electricity is bad. Stop comparing people who are against coal mining to people who want to stop electricity all together. It’s an absurd comparison.

What we’re advocating is sustainable energy–resources that future generations can use. Coal is finite, and will eventually be depleted. Coal is necessary at this point in time, yes. But the future needs other sources of energy that are not as destructive as coal and as finite as coal. It could be wind, solar, hydro, etc., something that can be depended on for hundreds of years. We’re looking into the future for technologies that provide as much energy without the environmental and social effects of mining.

Also, “Supporter of Tyler Wright” who objects to my semi-anonymity (though I have provided my full name now), I can’t help but notice the irony in your post. I’m supposed to provide my full name while you do not? Double standard?

As a huge supporter of the great Tyler Wright, I also included my full name and would just like to say to this Michael guy that you’re nothing but a hypocrite. You hippie people talk nothing but the bad things that coal does, but yet you’re still able to get on your computers and stalk people on facebook. Do these computers not use electricity? I suggest one thing to all hypocrites out there aka people against coal, that you stop complaining or simply quit using electricity. BURN COAL!!

No problem, we will call it what we want., Joe B Hall Wildcat Lodge is called Wildcat Lodge. The William T Young hut is the Willy T. The Wildcat Coal Lodge will be Wildcat Lodge and when we win the Mens NCAA title it may be called the CAL Lodge.

Tyler is an upright citizen and actually contributes to society AND is not afraid to show his full name in an opinion column. Who are you Michael? Michael Jackson? Michael Jordan? Michael (the character played by John Travolta)? Michael Myers? Michael Moore? Michael Buble’? Michael Vick?
SHOW YOUR TRUE IDENTITY! Let’s see what kind of groups you’re in on Facebook if that defines the true person.

GOOD JOB!!!!!!!! Board of Trustees……. most of these students dont even know what coal looks like let alone i bet some of them never even do any work in eastern kentucky. Maybe they should spend some of their energy in the hills of eastern kentucky doing some work for the people since they are sooo worried about things

Excellent someone stalks me on facebook to find out what I am all about because we all now facebook is a picture into ones soul.

Tyler, I complete agree with you. As a guy who says,
“I’m trying to start this thing they call reading.”

and is a fan of:
Coors Lite Piss Water

and is an official group member of:
“Save the Straight White Male”

you truly sound like a stand-up guy. I wish the best you in your journey to save coal from the terrorists, because as we all know, freedom to pollute sure ain’t free.

There is no reason to be upset with the coal industry and Coach Calipari because they each have something you do not, MONEY. I would not care if the building was named the Wildcat “Insert any obscure liberal agenda theme here” Lodge but it will not be because those ideas do not provide meaningful services that provide profits to make $7 million donations. I like how it is perceived that all students are against this. I am 100% positive that the Department of Mining Engineering supports the name, but those engineers are crazy anyways. They use these things called “facts and numbers.”


There is no doubt that coal has done a lot for the University and the Commonwealth as a whole, but there had better be plans to put Joe B. Hall’s name on something of importance on campus.

I agree Sabrina, if someone is against coal, they should do their part and turn all eletric off in their life. Not just lights, heat, and a/c, but EVERYTHING to do with coal. Turn their phones off, water off, cable off, internet off, cell phone off, ipod off, etc. They are all made with electricity made from coal. If there wasn’t a demand for the above items, then there would be no need for supply, thus decreasing coal usage to make and supply them. Oh yea, don’t dare get it that car either. Made using electric from coal. Please do your part in the dark!

Good!!! I say when these students can fork over 7 million, then let them do something about it, until then they need to go to class and learn about how coal keeps there lights on. I say if you have a problem w/COAL then do your part and cut the power line to your house. End of discussion unless you want to sit in the dark…

Congratulations to the Board of Trustees! A job well done! When the rest of the students get educated about coal mining, they will see what coal means to this country. There are very many myths being told out there about coal mining that are just false. They need to see just what coal mining is nowadays and get out of the past. The protestors are a few years behind the time with their idiotic views. Get educated and up to date people before opening your mouth!

Joe Craft and coal has done more for the University and the athletic program than anyone else in recent years. He deserved to have whatever he wanted put on that building.

Kudos to SG President Ryan Smith for taking a stand for students and tradition and against Big Coal, special interests, and the UK Board on this issue.

Coal has done more for UK and the State than any of you students and your measley tuition. It’s a name, nothing more. Go find a real cause to whine about.