I spent a very nice and educational day yesterday at The Brewer Company's Midwest Pavement Maintenance Seminar. I'll be posting photos to our Facebook page tomorrow but in the meanwhile it's worth relaying what Mike Juba, Koppers Inc., told the 175 or so contractors in attendance. Mike, a member of Pavement Coatings Technology Council, has been one of the industry experts flying hither and yon to combat attacks on refined coal tar sealers from a couple of politicos who began attacking sealcoating a number of years ago. As Mike made clear in his presentation, the attacks on refined coal tar sealer have changed, and it's up to the contractors at the local level to step up and defend the sealcoating industry -- and your business. "Science should drive the issue," Mike said, but it's clear that's not the case now and really never has been the case. "There are folks out there who have an agenda and we need to get our message out, and we can do that through the help of folks like you." Mike said contractors need to do the following: * Defend sealcoating because the issue is being broadly defined by opponents. * Defend refined coal tar sealer. The folks from PCTC can be a big help to you here but the local contractor needs to be the spokesperson. "We, collectively, and you specifically as local folks need to get the message out," Juba said. "You, the local folks who live in the community, who employ people in the community, pay taxes in the community, have more traction when talking with local officials." * Refer any issues to PCTC to make them aware. * Let local officials know your business will be damaged and that you might be put out of business if sealer is banned. * Attend any hearings related to sealcoating * Reach out to your political representatives. "I always thought 'science will win the day,' but that's not the case in the world we live in. You have to have science to support your message but science will not carry the day," Mike said. "It's very political."