Neil

Coal miners rally against Obama administration and EPA

By: Neil Middleton
By: Neil Middleton

Thousands of coal miners rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday against the Obama administration's attempts to rein in mountaintop removal mining, accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of trying to wipe out the coal industry.

 Thousands of coal miners rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday against the Obama administration's attempts to rein in mountaintop removal mining, accusing the Environmental
Protection Agency of trying to wipe out the coal industry.

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told, "Coal is under attack in this town, there's no question about it.  But I can tell you this, Cap and Trade, the national energy tax, is dead!” told the crow
 

Senate President David Williams said the “war on coal” directly threatens Kentucky’s economy.  “Coal has to be mined and protected!”

 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of coal miners rallied on Capitol
Hill Wednesday against the Obama administration's attempts to rein
in mountaintop removal mining, accusing the Environmental
Protection Agency of trying to wipe out the coal industry.

"This administration is trying to shut down coal and fire all
of you," claimed Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., adding that the EPA was
practicing "strangulation by regulation."

The industry-backed group Faces of Coal paid for most of the
travel and lodging expenses for the coal miners, who came from West
Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Speakers
included politicians from both parties and country music singer
Stella Parton. A rival rally was planned later in the day by
opponents of mountaintop removal, featuring country music performer
Big Kenny.

In mountaintop removal mining, forests are clear-cut, explosives
blast apart the rock, and machines scoop out the exposed coal. The
earth left behind is dumped into valleys, covering intermittent
streams. Coal operators say it's the most efficient way to reach
some reserves, and that it supports tens of thousands of jobs and
provides coal for electric power plants across much of the South
and East. But opponents say it is destroying land and harming water
quality.

The coal industry has filed a lawsuit against the EPA's new
policy which tightened water quality standards for valley fills at
surface coal mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Virginia and Tennessee. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said the
goal is a standard so strict that few, if any, permits would be
issued for valley fills.

Ralliers wore blue Faces of Coal T-shirts, and some sported hard
hats. They hoisted signs that said, "Coal Keeps the Lights on,"
and "Coal Miners 'Dig' Their Jobs."

When an opening prayer was given, it included thanks to God for
natural resources such as coal.

"They're trying to take our jobs," yelled Haven King, a
65-year-old retired coal miner from Hazard, Ky. "We have to stand
up."

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, said that the EPA is
stopping jobs.

"West Virginia will fight back and every coal state must fight
back," he said.

The state's senior senator, Democrat Jay Rockefeller, said that
Jackson "doesn't understand the sensitivities economically of what
unemployment means. Her job is relatively simple: clean everything
up, keep it clean, don't do anything to disturb perfection. Well,
you can't do coal and do that at the same time. God didn't make
coal to be an easy thing to work with."

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Next January, the EPA plans to start regulating greenhouse gas
emissions that are blamed for global warming, another cause of
alarm for the coal miners. Rockefeller has sponsored legislation to
suspend that for two years.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., urged support for Rockefeller's measure.
"
We are not going to let the EPA regulate coal out of
business," he said.

Although the rally was billed as bipartisan and a number of
Democrats spoke, there were some partisan comments, especially from
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He said that this
administration and current Congress are the most anti-coal in
history.

"Send them a message on November 2," he yelled to cheers.

---

Here are some of the headlines from other media outlets and blogs.  Click on the headline to read the article.

Appalachian Coal Miners Say EPA Rules Are Killing Their Jobs – FOX NEWS

 

Miners rally for coal near the Capitol – Courier Journal

 

Our View: Protect the now, but build for then – Floyd County Times

EPA demands would de-energize Kentucky's economy – Bluegrass Policy Blog

 

Where do you stand on this issue?  Let me know your thoughts.

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God Bless America!
 
Neil Middleton <><
WYMT Mountain News
Appreciate Freedom – Thank a Vet!

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