The EPA’s job-killing War on Coal is neither

Contrary to 65 percent of the political advertisements/rhetoric that we Kentuckians have been subjected to over the last six months, the EPA’s regulations to prevent the coal industry from further poisoning our air and water have not, in fact, destroyed Kentucky jobs and the coal industry. On the contrary, ever since the Beshear-labeled “War on Coal” started, coal employment has gone… up.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite complaints about the Obama administration’s “war on coal,” employment in the Appalachian mining industry is at a 14-year high, according to new government data and congressional testimony.


Nationwide, though, the total number of coal jobs is at its highest level since 1996, with 90,354 jobs in 2011, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration data.

In Appalachia, the 59,059 jobs reported were the most since 1997, according to the MSHA data. In West Virginia, coal employment reached its highest level since 1992, with 23,353 jobs, the data shows.

Matt Wasson, director of programs for the group Appalachian Voices, said his review of the MSHA data shows the number of coal jobs in the region has increased by 10 percent since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a crackdown on mountaintop-removal mining in June 2009.

“In other words, the idea of a ‘permitorium’ on coal mine permitting that House Republicans are pushing out is completely and demonstrably false,” Wasson said Friday. “The hysterical reaction of coal companies to any and all regulations to protect the safety of workers and communities near their mines is about profits, not jobs.”

Yeah, I suppose this might be due to the fact that since there are more obstacles to surface mining, coal companies have to resort to more underground mining (which has been shown of late to be just as safe for workers).

But the big problem with that is our out-of-state coal companies have to employ more Kentuckians to work the mines, instead of just bulldozer operators. More workers = less profit that they and their fellow out-of-state shareholders can export from the state.

So yeah, I guess all of those EPA regulations haven’t been so bad for the “workers” (these are the people with all of the soot on their sad faces in the TV ads). But this isn’t a victimless crime. Who, I say, will speak up for the coal owners in Oklahoma, and their shareholders around the country, who must settle for slightly less than many millions of dollars per year? Who will speak up against this injustice against the 1 percent?

Well, besides your employee for the next four years…

(h/t Travis Waldon at TP)


  1. Paul Taulbee
    Posted December 23, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Being a senior citizen on a fixed income I am going to be in a fiancial delimma when my electric bill increases by 100% in 2012. Solar panels and wind power will not produce the electricity required,just like a $40K volt is not the solution to my transportation needs $1.00 a gallon gasoline would be a big help to me and the rest of us on fixed incomes.

  2. Florentino Rainford
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    auko ng timeline

  3. Giovanni Hoehn
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment�s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  4. Gala Meggison
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

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