Letter to the Editor - WV Gazette

2/1/2012

Letter to the Editor – WV Gazette
Stop the War on Coal; Start Creating Jobs

Listening to the recent State of the Union Address, we were disheartened by President Obama’s continued negative sentiments toward coal as a domestic energy resource and as an important factor in our nation’s economic competitiveness. This was apparent by the President’s failure during his remarks to even mention coal as part of our nation’s energy future. Unfortunately, this is just the latest signal that the President’s war on coal is going to continue.

For the past two years, the Obama Administration, led primarily by the EPA, has been undertaking a number of regulatory actions that are posing serious challenges on coal production and coal use, particularly in Central Appalachia. These include an ongoing “review” of hundreds of coal mining permits that were once declared valid by the federal government, new air regulations that are resulting in the closure of coal-fired electric power generation stations, and the recent unprecedented revocation of an approved coal mining permit. This war on coal will affect thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues. It also will damage the viability of thousands of small businesses, many of which are core to this state’s employment and economic stability.

Our local chamber of commerce implore the President to return to an evenhanded approach to environmental protection that considers job preservation and the economic well-being in our region and our nation. All economic factors related to continued coal production must be considered in any future energy policy. For once, this Administration needs to provide coal companies and the miners they employ with a balanced and transparent regulatory process that’s based on natural science instead of political science.

Sincerely,

Paul E. Arbogast