Obama’s War on Coal Takes Out 1,200 More Coal Miners Across 3 States

Speaking in January of 2008 Obama warned us that his incoming administration would basically go Gestapo on the Coal Industry, and impose so many new rules, regulations, and fees on coal mines and plants, that would ratchet up each year, and eventually Obama’s “green energy” regulations, goons and henchmen would bankrupt the entire Coal Industry.

“if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.. it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all of that greenhouse gasses that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in wind, solar, biodiesel, and other alternatively energy approaches.”

Now it’s coming true, and due to Obama’s War on Coal, thousands of people are about to lose their jobs as Alpha Natural Resources has recently announced that it will be closing eight coal mines, and laying-off 1,200 coal miners in three states.

House Democrats joined Republicans Friday in voting to restrain environmental regulators from hurting the coal industry, battling what mining-state lawmakers call a “war on coal” that just cost another 1,200 jobs.

The 233-175 vote to approve the “Stop the War on Coal Act” marked the final vote in the chamber until mid-November. Nineteen Democrats joined the majority in voting for the bill.

The proposals would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from restricting greenhouse gases, quash stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and give states control over disposal of harmful coal byproducts. The vote coincides with a fresh campaign-trail effort by Mitt Romney to hammer President Obama over the impact the EPA’s policies have had on the industry. It also comes after company Alpha Natural Resources announced earlier this week that it was eliminating 1,200 positions, closing eight coal mines across three states. The company cited a difficult market in which power plants are switching to abundant, less-expensive natural gas and “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”

House Speaker John Boehner, in a statement Friday on the vote, blamed the “war on coal” for the job loss and said the House bill reins in the administration’s most damaging new energy regulations and holds them accountable for the economic impact of several others.”

The legislation, though, is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate, and Obama has already threatened a veto should it ever reach his desk.

Republicans and conservative groups are working to saddle down-ballot Democrats with Obama’s environmental policies, which are unpopular in energy-producing battleground states such as Virginia and Ohio. They argue that no source of jobs or affordable energy can be spared amid a still-weak economy, with unemployment at 8.1 percent, and reliance on oil from the tumultuous Middle East.

New fuel economy standards that cut tailpipe emissions — set for model years 2017-2025 — would be gutted by the act. So would the EPA’s ability to regulate gases blamed for global warming. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling cleared the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under its authority to control air pollutants, but the legislation amends the Clean Air Act to preclude any taxes or regulations on greenhouse gases.

Another provision would forbid the Interior Department from issuing any new rules that threaten mining jobs or U.S. coal production through the end of 2013. The package also would create a new agency to study how EPA rules harm jobs and energy prices.

The measure also would give states broad control over disposal of coal ash, a waste product from power plants, and protection of water quality near mining operations. Also nixed would be EPA standards for mercury and air toxins and a “good neighbor” rule that protects states that are downwind from polluting power plants.

Rep. Bill Johnson, who authored the act, challenged Obama to follow through on his State of the Union vow to support an all-of-the-above approach to American energy.

“This is not about climate change,” said Johnson, R-Ohio. “If it’s a public health, public safety, national security issue, certainly common sense regulations are appropriate. Regulations that are based on fact and science — not based on political rhetoric or an environmentalist agenda.”

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