Over the weekend, hundreds of Ohio coal miners stood in line to get into a rally hosted by not pro-union President Obama, but by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. After all, you can't unionize if you don't have a job.
Mitt Romney today stood in front of eastern Ohioans seemingly straight out of the mine — hard hats, smudged faces, and blue and gray uniforms — as he accused President Obama of “waging war” on coal.
On the outskirts of Beallsville, there’s no doubt that coal is king. Signs dot the rural roads: “Stop the war on coal. Fire Obama.” There were plenty of other hardhats in the crowd as they were bused in from another location.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama talks little about coal beyond mentioning use of cleaner coal as part of an all-of-the-above approach to the country’s energy needs. Coal-produced power represents about 80 percent of the electricity produced in Ohio.
“(Mr. Obama) says he’s for coal, but the regulation he’s putting on coal is making it basically impossible for us to mine the coal,” said Shawn Schoolcraft, of St. Clairsville, who has worked for two years as a roof-bolter at the deep mine Mr. Romney visited today.
Obama's policies have wiped out of hundreds of coal mining jobs just this year in Ohio.
OhioAmerican Energy, Inc. (“OhioAmerican”), a Subsidiary of Murray Energy Corporation (“Murray Energy”), today announced the closure of its coal mining operations near Brilliant, Jefferson County, Ohio.
Regulatory actions by President Barack Obama and his appointees and followers were cited as the entire reason. “Mr. Obama has already destroyed 83,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation in America,” said Mr. Michael T. W. Carey, Vice President of Government Affairs for Murray Energy. “Electric prices in the recent PJM Interconnection monthly auction were bid up 800 percent (8 times) for 2015-2016 because of this,” he added.
“At its peak, OhioAmerican employed 239 local people in high-paying, well-benefited jobs,” said Mr. Stanley T. Piasecki, General Manager and Superintendent. “University studies show that our Mines can create up to eleven (11) secondary jobs in our communities, for store clerks, teachers, etc., to serve our direct employees. Thus, if one uses the eleven (11) to one (1) multiplier, the Obama Administration has destroyed 2,868 jobs in eastern Ohio with this forced Mine closure,” stated Mr. Piasecki.
“This is a sad day for all of us, and particularly Mr. Robert E. Murray, the Founder of OhioAmerican,” said Mr. Piasecki. “He is so distraught that he came to the Mine and personally announced the layoffs to each of the employees,” he added.
FLASHBACK: "When I was asked about coal earlier, under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessary skyrocket." "Coal power plants, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was they would have to retrofit their operations, that will cost money."
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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