(01/14/2008)
A Kroger Company fundraising program that dozens of West Virginia charities uses has gotten the grocery chain in trouble with the state's coal industry.

The West Virginia Coal Association and Friends of Coal say it's shocking that Kroger allowed the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition to participate.

Ohio Valley Environmental Council Executive Director Janet Keating said the industry would be better off complying with mining laws and regulations than worrying about where people shop.

Coal officials said they'll certainly get the word out about Kroger in coal country. West Virginia is the second largest coal producing state in the US.

OVEC recently won a federal lawsuit that makes it harder to get permits for mountaintop removal mines in West Virginia.

Kroger spokeswoman Meghan Glynn says the company allows customers to choose which organizations they support through various donation programs and does not influence their decisions.

Kroger operates 46 groceries in West Virginia.


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