Charleston, W. Va. — The billboard high over I-64 outside the capital of this blue-collar state minces no words: “Obama’s NO JOBS ZONE: The President talks about creating jobs but his EPA is destroying jobs.”
Businessmen across nearly every American industry cite the Obama administration’s regulatory assault — from Obamacare to bank lending restrictions to fuel-economy mandates — as a cause of America’s jobless recovery. But the coal industry has been a favorite target of the White House job-killers.
“We have been forced by our own country’s president and his followers and supporters to permanently close the operation,” said Stanley Piasecki, general manager of OhioAmerica, in announcing the closure of his eastern Ohio coal mine on July 31. “Both Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stated that there would be ‘no coal in America’ prior to their elections. They are making good on their intentions while they destroy so many lives.”
“Current market pressures and a challenging regulatory environment have pushed coal consumption in the United States to a 20-year low,” said Arch Coal president and CEO John Eaves as he announced the elimination of 750 jobs in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia in late June, devastating areas like Perry County, Kentucky, which has lost 30 percent of its coal jobs on the way to the county’s 13 percent unemployment rate today.
Alpha Natural Resources also announced in June that it was closing down mines and 150 jobs because, according to the blog 24/7 Wall Street, “future sales forecasts also are being affected by a series of regulatory actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has resulted in utilities announcing plans to shut down a number of generating stations that have traditionally used Central Appalachia coal.”
For three years Obama’s EPA has done an end run around the legislative process and deployed a platoon of new emissions regulations — forcing older plants to shut down under zealous mercury rules and effectively banning coal plant construction with new carbon regulations. The agency is also waging a permitting battle against mining operations.
Though largely ignored by mainstream media that have cheered the White House global-warming agenda, the effect has been devastating to businesses and communities across the eastern coal belt.
Read more at The Weekly Standard here.