Planet Gore

UMW Is Dead, UAW Is Alive

“The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and (the EPA’s) Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” United Mine Worker president Cecil Roberts told a West Virginia radio show in April.

How’s that for a bump sticker, Vice President Biden?

The Obama campaign has made “Bin Laden is dead. GM is alive” its campaign motto, highlighting the auto bailout as its major first term economic achievement. But the same administration’s destruction of hundreds of UMW jobs across the eastern coal belt exposes the lie of a White House that cares about the working man.

What is now clear is that UAW bailout was a politically motivated rescue of a key Democratic contributor in a two key electoral swing states (Michigan and Ohio) over an industry that Barack Obama has long wanted to transform in his green image.

By contrast, the zealot-in-chief has no use for coal — and therefore no use for its workers or less significant electoral states like West Virginia and Kentucky. As has been covered here at NRO (and as I report in The Weekly Standard this week), hundreds of UMW workers have been sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s Global Warming Church.

The result of this assault is that, unlike UAW President Bob King, UMW President Roberts was nowhere to be found at the Democratic convention. In fact, the UMW is not endorsing Obama this year (after doing so in 2008) — the first time the UMW hasn’t endorsed for president in memory.

The White House war on his workers continued this week as Alpha Natural Resources laid off another 1,200 coal workers because, lamented Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield, of “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”

Despite this — and other testimonials from the coal industry of the direct impact of the Obama EPA’s War on Coal — Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program and an advocate for Obama’s green policies, told the Detroit News editorial board that the job losses are related to natural gas competition and are “not coming from EPA regulations.”

Huh? The hostility of the White House and activist groups like Pew to one of America’s most abundant energy resources raises the question: When did greens shift from making sure energy sources were clean and safe to targeting energy sources for elimination?

Having witnessed the decline in utility emissions — brought about with the help of the relentless advance of technology — environmentalists don’t know when to declare victory. Instead, they have now become obsessed with the defeat of a cheap, efficient, American energy resource that employs tens of thousands of Americans.

So much for liberal compassion.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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