House Plans Counter Attack on Obama Administration’s War on Jobs and Affordable Electricity

September 18, 2012

This week’s Human Events provides an unsettling look into the harsh realities of the Obama administration’s war on coal. Families in the heart of Appalachia are suffering the brunt of EPA’s aggressive regulatory agenda as thousands of workers in this part of the country have recently lost their jobs as a result of EPA’s antagonistic new policies. But the effects of the Obama administration’s war on coal extend far and wide as the administration’s assault on coal is also an attack on American jobs and American energy. In addition to the Americans who depend on the coal industry for their livelihoods, there are millions more who depend on coal for affordable and reliable electricity.

To prevent more job losses and higher electricity bills, the House will vote this week on a H.R. 3409, the “Stop the War on Coal Act.” This legislative package consists of a series of bills that aim to stop EPA's regulatory assault on America’s power sector. Included in the package are three proposals advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee: the Energy Tax Prevention Act, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, which have all separately passed the House with bipartisan support.

The War On Coal
Human Events
By Audrey Hudson

Allen Black is a casualty in the Obama administration’s war on coal.

He worked in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky for two decades earning upwards of $70,000 a year and was financially secure enough to help support his son’s pre-medical studies at a private university.

After losing his job on April 29, Black had no choice but to clear out his retirement savings to supplement his only income of $350 a week in unemployment and is now struggling to take care of his family at home, in addition to his son’s textbooks, food and other college expenses.

“You do what you’ve got to do for your kids,” Black told Human Events last week. “He’s worked hard, he’s earned it, and I’m proud of him. We’ll find a way.”

Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania—the heart of Appalachia—have been hardest hit by nine regulations proposed or finalized by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that critics say will cripple this region’s coal industry.

“There was a massive migration out of Appalachia going north to build cars in the 1960’s because there were no jobs here. Coal is the only industry and when it fails, we all fail. We have another migration but this time we have nowhere to migrate to,” Black said.

“It’s really sad that government policies could make you leave a home where your family has been for generations. I’m not so sure it’s a war on coal so much as it’s a war on Appalachia,” Black said.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has enacted three significant regulations for new air emission standards with an annual cost expected to total more than $13 billion. Several more, including two proposed rules dealing with air and coal ash, could cost an additional $20 billion to $90 billion annually, according to a recent energy report by the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

The coal industry estimates its labor force at 135,000—Black is one of 2,000 who lost their jobs this year. Another 10,000 layoffs in direct and related jobs are expected in the coming months, and job loss estimates leaked from the Obama administration on the effects of just one water rule predicted another 7,000 coal jobs would be eliminated. …

Read the article online here.

Read more about the "Stop the War on Coal Act" here.