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The Cost Of Obama's Inconsistency On Coal

- October 17, 2012

Obama Makes An Appearance In Coal Country In Ohio, But His Record Shows He Isn't Working For Coal

Last Night, Obama Said "I've Tried to Be Consistent" On Coal. OBAMA: "So what I've tried to do is be consistent. With respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology to make sure that even as we're producing more coal, we're producing it cleaner and smarter." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Hempstead, NY, 10/16/12)

IN 2008, OBAMA CAMPAIGNED ON BANKRUPTING COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

While Campaigning For President In 2008, Obama Said That His Cap-And-Trade Program Would Bankrupt Coal-Powered Plants. OBAMA: "So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can - it's just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." (Sen. Barack Obama, Interview With The San Francisco Chronicle's Editorial Board, 1/17/08)

Biden In 2008: "No Coal Plants Here In America." (Sen. Joe Biden, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Maumee, OH, 9/16/08)

  • In 2007, Then-Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Said "I Don't Think There's Much Of A Role For Clean Coal In Energy Independence," And "Clean-Coal Is Not The Route To Go In The United States." BIDEN: "I don't think there's much of a role for clean coal in energy independence, but I do think there's a significant role for clean coal in the bigger picture of climate change. Clean-coal technology is not the route to go in the United States, because we have other, cleaner alternatives." (Amanda Little, "An Interview With Joe Biden About Energy And The Environment," Grist.org, 8/30/07)
  • In 2007, Biden Ranked Coal Ahead Of High-Fructose Corn Syrup And A Terrorist Attack As More Likely To Contribute To The Death Of An Average American. HBO'S BILL MAHER: "Senator Biden, forgetting about the upcoming Iowa caucus for just a moment, which would you honestly say is more likely to contribute to the death of your average American: a terrorist strike or high-fructose corn syrup and air that has too much coal in it?" BIDEN: "Air that has too much coal in it, corn syrup next, then a terrorist attack. But that is not in any way to diminish the fact that a terrorist attack is real. It is not an existential threat to bringing down the country, but it does have the capacity, still, to kill thousands of people. But hundreds of thousands of people die and their lives are shortened because of coal plants, coal-fired plants and because of corn syrup." (Sen. Joe Biden, Slate, Yahoo, The Huffington Post Presidential Forum, 9/13/07)

ONCE IN OFFICE, OBAMA SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH PARTISAN ACTIVISTS WHO ALSO OPPOSED COAL

The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register: "Obama's Goal, In Which Top EPA Officials And Liberals In Congress Cooperate Enthusiastically, Is To Wreck The Coal Industry." "Obama's goal, in which top EPA officials and liberals in Congress cooperate enthusiastically, is to wreck the coal industry. As we have pointed out, eliminating relatively low-priced electricity generated from coal will put many industries in this region at a competitive disadvantage against those elsewhere. That may well be part of the liberals' strategy." (Editorial, "End EPA War Against Coal," The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register , 1/1/12)

  • EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Encouraged College Activists To Campaign Against Coal. "College environmental activists met Thursday with Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to tell her what they're doing at their schools to try to shut down campus coal-fired heating plants. 'It's so important that your voices are heard, that campuses that are supposed to be teaching people aren't meanwhile polluting the surrounding community with mercury and costing the children a few IQ points because of the need to generate power. It's simply not fair,' Jackson said." (Renee Schoof, "EPA Chief Encourages College Activists In Campaign Against Coal," The Kansas City Star, 10/27/11)

OBAMA HAS IMPLEMENTED AN AGENDA THAT IS KILLING COAL AND COSTING FAMILIES WELL-PAYING JOBS

Under Obama, 111 Coal Power Plants Closed From 2009-2012 . "But in the past two years, an increasing number of coal-powered electricity plants across the country have announced closures. Estimates vary, but banking and industry analysis firm Credit Suisse put expected and known closures for 2009-2012 at 111 plants, that's one-fifth of the nation's nearly 500 coal plants." (Lisa Desjardins, "The War Over Coal Is Personal," CNN, 7/17/12)

The Energy Information Administration Expects 175 Coal-Fired Generators To Retire Between 2012 And 2016. "Plant owners and operators report to EIA that they expect to retire almost 27 gigawatts (GW) of capacity from 175 coal-fired generators between 2012 and 2016. In 2011, there were 1,387 coal-fired generators in the United States, totaling almost 318 GW. The 27 GW of retiring capacity amounts to 8.5% of total 2011 coal-fired capacity." ("27 Gigawatts Of Coal-Fired Capacity To Retire over The Next Five Years," Energy Information Administration, 7/27/12)

  • EIA: "Coal-Fired Capacity Retirements Expected To Occur in 2012 Will Likely Be The Largest One-Year Amount In The Nation's History." "The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period (6.5 GW). Moreover, based on EIA data, the approximate 9 GW of coal-fired capacity retirements expected to occur in 2012 will likely be the largest one-year amount in the nation's history." ("27 Gigawatts Of Coal-Fired Capacity To Retire over The Next Five Years," Energy Information Administration, 7/27/12)

EPA Regulations Are Estimated To Cut Total Coal Employment By 1.4 Million Jobs Between 2011 And 2020. "An estimated 60,000 Americans work in coal-fired power plants. These are high-productivity jobs because the employees work with large amounts of capital. Electricity generated by coal takes just 0.18 employees per megawatt of plant capacity. Coal-fired power plant jobs pay high wages because their employees are skilled. Yet new EPA regulations are estimated to cut total coal employment by 1.4 million job-years between 2011 and 2020." (Andrew P. Morriss, "EPA Foolishly Seeks To Destroy Nation's Coal Industry," McClatchy DC, 8/2/12)

  • According To The National Mining Association, A Typical Coal Miner In The United States Earns $73,000 A Year. "Third, the coal industry is a significant source of jobs. The typical coal miner earns $73,000 a year, says the National Mining Association, which represents the mining industry in Washington." (Andrew P. Morriss, "EPA Foolishly Seeks To Destroy Nation's Coal Industry," McClatchy DC, 8/2/12)

United Mineworkers Spokesman Estimates "Coal Mining Companies Have Laid Off 3,000 or 4,000 People This Year" And Whatever Their Next Job Is "Will Pay Half Or Less Than What They Were Getting." "'It's never a good day when workers are laid off,' said United Mineworkers spokesman Phil Smith, who added that none of the Alpha layoffs affected union members. 'These are the best paying jobs in their communities and whatever these people find will pay half or less than what they were getting.' Smith estimated that coal mining companies have laid off 3,000 or 4,000 people this year." (Steven Mufson, "Alpha Natural Resources Closing Eight Mines, Cutting Hundreds Of Jobs," The Washington Post , 9/18/12)

CAMPAIGNING FOR A SECOND TERM, OBAMA TRIES TO PANDER ON COAL TO CONNECT WITH COAL-RELIANT STATES

The Obama Campaign's Energy Plan Attempted To Ignore Clean Coal. "The Obama campaign's energy plan ignored clean coal until it was pointed out by the media. After that the technology was added to the website dedicated to energy. Ironically, Biden signed a Clean Coal hat last year." (Paul Bedard, "Coal Supporters Harassed, Barred At Obama-Biden Events," Washington Examiner , 9/26/12)

  • "The Obama Campaign Added A Section On 'Clean Coal' To Its Website This Week After House Republicans Alleged That The President's 'All-Of-The-Above' Energy Plan Neglected The Fossil Fuel." (Andrew Restuccia, "Obama Campaign Adds 'Clean Coal' To Website After GOP Complaints," The Hill's E2 Wire , 5/11/12)
  • The Wall Street Journal: Coal Is Not Part Of Obama's "All Of The Above" Energy Strategy. "Everyone in Washington including President Obama claims to favor an 'all of the above' energy portfolio. As misguided as that is-far better to let markets decide which energy sources to develop-the EPA has now admitted that Mr. Obama doesn't really mean it. Coal is not part of his 'all.'" (Editorial, "Killing Coal," The Wall Street Journal, 4/5/12)

An Environmental Group Is Calling Obama Out On An Anti-Romney Coal Campaign Ad. "An environmental group is calling on President Obama's campaign to take down a TV ad criticizing Republican challenger Mitt Romney for declaring years ago that a Massachusetts coal-fired power plant 'kills people.' Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney greets coal miners in August during a campaign rally at American Energy Corporation in Beallsville, Ohio." (Laura Vozzella, "Environmentalists Blast 'Pro-Coal' Obama Ad," The Washington Post , 10/11/12)

  • The Group Wants Obama To Yank The "Cynical Pro-Coal Ad" And Stop The Blatant Pandering. " "The group has created an online petition asking Obama to yank the commercial: 'Tell the Obama campaign: stop your cynical pro-coal ad,' it reads. Coal has emerged as an important issue in the presidential race, with Romney contending that Obama's environmental policies have been hostile to it and other fossil fuels - at a steep price to jobs and energy independence. Obama has insisted that he supports 'clean coal' operations as well as renewable sources of energy." (Laura Vozzella, "Environmentalists Blast 'Pro-Coal' Obama Ad," The Washington Post , 10/11/12)

The Obama Campaign Has "Barred" Coal Supporters From Their Events

Clean Coal Supporters Were Asked To Leave An Obama Event In Bowling Green, Ohio. "Wednesday at a rally for President Obama in Bowling Green, Ohio, clean coal advocates in their T-shirts and hats were asked to leave and their video tracker filming their treatment was filmed by an event video tracker." (Paul Bedard, "Coal Supporters Harassed, Barred At Obama-Biden Events," Washington Examiner , 9/26/12)

Clean Coal Supporters Were Barred From Entering A Biden Event Held In Chesterfield, Virginia. "At a Chesterfield, Virginia rally Tuesday for Vice President Biden, clean coal supporters said that their T-shirts, hats and signs were taken as they passed through security. Others said that they were barred from entering after an official who had earlier confiscated clean coal T-shirts called it a 'private event.'" (Paul Bedard, "Coal Supporters Harassed, Barred At Obama-Biden Events," Washington Examiner , 9/26/12)

"Officials At The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity Say They Are Flummoxed" By The Obama Campaign's Actions. "Officials at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity say they are flummoxed by the actions. They have been pressing both Obama and the Romney campaigns to endorse their goal of promoting high tech coal plants that produce cleaner energy and do not yell or jeer at political rallies. The advocates stand out in their blue shirts and hats, some of whom even made to the floor at last month's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida." (Paul Bedard, "Coal Supporters Harassed, Barred At Obama-Biden Events," Washington Examiner , 9/26/12)

OBAMA'S PANDERING HAS NOT DISGUISED HIS WAR ON COAL IN THE STATES

Ohio

According To The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Due To EPA Regulations, 30 Coal Units In Ohio Are Retiring Or Being Converted, Resulting In The Retiring Or Converting Of 6,623 Megawatts Of Electricity. ("Coal Retirements As Of September 2012," The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Accessed 9/19/12)

  • ACCE CEO Mike Duncan: "EPA Continues To Ignore The Damage That Its New Regulations Are Causing To The U.S. Economy And To States That Depend On Coal For Jobs And Affordable Electricity." (Evan Weese, "30 Coal-Fired Power Plants In Ohio Threatened, Industry Charges," Columbus Business First , 9/19/12)

FirstEnergy Will Close Three Ohio Power Plants Among Others Due To Regulations Imposed By The EPA, Threatening Over 500 Jobs. "The Akron-based utility which owns Toledo Edison said it was shutting the facility because of air emission standards being imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In all, FirstEnergy said it would also shut plants in Eastlake, Ashabula, and Cleveland in Ohio, as well as in Adrian, Pa., and Williamsport, Md. The plants collectively produce 2,689 megawatts of electricity and employ 529 workers." ("FirstEnergy To Shutter Bay Shore Coal-Fired Plant," The Toledo Blade, 1/26/12)

  • FirstEnergy Was To Close Ohio Power Plants By September 1 Because The Company Did Not Want To Install New Expensive Pollution Controls Mandated By The EPA. "At the first of the year, FirstEnergy said it would close the old power plants by Sept. 1, estimating that some 400 jobs in Ohio would be lost. Also on the death list were two small power plants in Maryland and two in West Virginia, which the company intends to close this year as originally planned. The company decided to close the old plants because it did not want to install expensive new pollution controls to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new restrictions on emissions of mercury and other toxic metals. Those standards take effect 2014, or with an EPA-approved extension, 2015." (John Funk, "FirstEnergy Will Keep Older Power Plants Open Until 2015, Launch Nearly $1 Billion In Transmission Upgrades," The Plain Dealer, 5/1/12)

FirstEnergy Reduced Operations At Its Sammis Coal-Fired Power Plant On September 16; 440 Workers Were Affected. "Akron's FirstEnergy Corp. intends to reduce operations at its giant W.H. Sammis coal-fired power plant because the electricity is not needed. Minimal operations will begin Sept. 16 at the plant southeast of Akron in Jefferson County and will affect 440 workers, company spokesman Mark Durbin said Thursday." (Bob Downing, "FirstEnergy To Cut Back Operations At Sammis Power Plant," Akron Beacon Journal , 8/17/12)

According To FirstEnergy Spokesman Mark Durbin, The Cutbacks Will Continue "Indefinitely" Until The Economy Improves. "The cutbacks will continue indefinitely - until the stagnant economy improves, he said. 'It's tough to say how long the reduced operations might last. It could be awhile. We'll just have to wait and see,' Durbin said." (Bob Downing, "FirstEnergy To Cut Back Operations At Sammis Power Plant," Akron Beacon Journal , 8/17/12)

  • In 2010, FirstEnergy Completed Installing Anti-Pollution Control Equipment At The Sammis Plant - A $1.8 Billion Project. "FirstEnergy in late 2010 completed installing anti-pollution equipment, including scrubbers, at the Sammis plant. It was a $1.8 billion project that began in 2005." (Bob Downing, "FirstEnergy To Cut Back Operations At Sammis Power Plant," Akron Beacon Journal , 8/17/12)

FirstEnergy Expects To Eliminate 200 Jobs From Akron, Ohio In November As A Result Of The "Continued Weak Economy." "The utility company said Wednesday that it expects in November to eliminate 200 employees at support departments and FirstEnergy Solutions. Most of the jobs are located in Akron. In the news release announcing the cuts, FirstEnergy said it 'is conducting an organizational study to determine how its workforce should be aligned to best meet the challenges of the continued weak economy.' The study will be finished in November and employees will know if they will lose their jobs." ("FirstEnergy May Cut 200 Akron Jobs In November," The Canton Repository, 9/19/12)

  • The Job Cuts Are "In Response To A Combination Of Economic Factors." "The job cuts are 'in response to a combination of economic factors, including continued slow customer load growth and an abundance of electric generation supply resulting in low power prices,' said Anthony J. Alexander, FirstEnergy president and chief executive officer." ("FirstEnergy May Cut 200 Akron Jobs In November," The Canton Repository, 9/19/12)

New EPA Rules Threaten 50 Ohio Jobs At Dayton Power & Light Plant. "Facing the prospect of having to shut down a coal-burning power plant that employs 50, Dayton Power & Light said it's studying a plan to repower the O.H. Hutchings Station plant here with natural gas as a way to keep the facility along the Great Miami River operating." (Steve Bennish, "EPA Rules To Force Old Coal Plants To Adapt, Close,"Dayton Daily News, 1/6/12)

Duke Energy Will Close Its Walter C. Beckjord Generating Station In Clermont County. "Large Ohio coal plants will go dark within a few years. Duke Energy announced that the Walter C. Beckjord Generating Station in Clermont County east of Cincinnati will cease operating coal-fired units in 2015. The plant has produced energy for six decades." (Steve Bennish, "EPA Rules To Force Old Coal Plants To Adapt, Close," Dayton Daily News, 1/6/12)

  • According To Duke Energy, The New EPA Rules "Would Require Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars - To Which Our Customers Would Be Exposed - To Bring The Plant Into Compliance." "'Due to the age and physical limitations of the Beckjord facility, the (new EPA rules) would require hundreds of millions of dollars - to which our customers would be exposed - to bring the plant into compliance. This fact, combined with a lower plant usage forecast, compelled Duke Energy Ohio to accelerate Beckjord's anticipated retirement date,' Duke said." (Steve Bennish, "EPA Rules To Force Old Coal Plants To Adapt, Close," Dayton Daily News, 1/6/12)

AEP's Ohio Picway Plant To Shutdown On June 1, 2015, When Tougher Federal Air Pollution Rules Take Effect. "After nearly 60 years of producing power, the Picway plant is headed for retirement. Nestled along the Scioto River near Lockbourne, Picway is scheduled for shutdown by June 1, 2015, when tougher federal air pollution limits take effect." (Spencer Hunt, "Coal Power Plants May Be Razed Or Sold Once Closed," The Columbus Dispatch, 6/10/12)

GenOn Will Close Plants In Niles And Avon Lake, OH. "Ohio plants affected include those in Niles and Avon Lake, and plants retiring in Pennsylvania are in New Castle, Portland, Shawville, Titus and Elrama. The closures will occur between 2012 and 2015." (Chelsea Miller, "7 Coal-Powered Plants To Close In Ohio And Pa.," Youngstown Vindicator, 3/1/12)

GenOn Energy Will Close Its Avon Lake, OH, Coal-Fired Power Plant In 2015 Due To "Insufficient Returns" As A Result Of EPA Regulations. "GenOn Energy is moving forward with its plan to close the Avon Lake power plant in April 2015. According to an email from GenOn spokesman Mark Baird, after more review of the viability of adding additional controls to bring the plant into conformity with EPA regulations, 'forecasted returns are insufficient.'" (Cheryl Higley, "GenOn On Track With Closing Plant In Avon Lake," The Plain Dealer, 4/6/12)

  • City Schools Will Face An Annual Revenue Loss Of $3.9 Million Due To The Plant's Closure. "Replacing the revenue generated from the plant will be crucial for the city schools, which could lose $3.9 million annually when the plant closes. Those losses come on top of state funding cuts and past devaluations of the power plant that are contributing to a projected $3 million deficit by fiscal year 2014."(Cheryl Higley, "GenOn On Track With Closing Plant In Avon Lake," The Plain Dealer, 4/6/12)

OhioAmerican Energy, Inc., A Subsidiary Of Murray Energy, Announced The Closure Of Its Coal Mining Operations In Brilliant, Ohio, Citing Obama And His Appointees As The Reason. "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." (Press Release, "OhioAmerican Energy, Inc. Coal Mining Operation Closed In Eastern Ohio," Murray Energy, 7/31/12)

  • Murray Energy Estimates That The Obama Administration Has Destroyed 2,868 Jobs In Eastern Ohio. "'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." (Press Release, "OhioAmerican Energy, Inc. Coal Mining Operation Closed In Eastern Ohio," Murray Energy, 7/31/12)

Mr. Stanley T. Piasecki, General Manager And Superintendent Of Murray Energy: "There Will Be Additional Layoffs" Throughout The Country's Coal Industry "Due To Mr. Obama's 'War On Coal.'" 'There will be additional layoffs, not only at Murray Energy, but also throughout the United States coal industry due to Mr. Obama's 'War on Coal' and the destruction that it has caused to so many jobs and families in the Ohio Valley area and elsewhere,' said Mr. Murray. 'Both Mr. Obama and Vice President Biden stated that there would be 'no coal in America' prior to their elections,'" said Mr. Piasecki. 'They are making good on their intentions while they destroy so many lives and family livelihoods in this area for no benefit whatsoever,' he concluded." (Press Release, "OhioAmerican Energy, Inc. Coal Mining Operation Closed In Eastern Ohio," Murray Energy, 7/31/12)

Another Affiliate Of Murray Energy, Ohio Valley Coal Company, Recently Announced The Elimination Of 29 Hourly Jobs At Its Powhattan No. 6 Mine Citing "Regulatory Excess Of The Obama Administration As A Direct Cause Of The Layoffs." "The Ohio Valley Coal Company announced Friday it has been forced to reduce its workforce at the Powhatan No. 6 Mine in Belmont County, Ohio. According to a news release 29 hourly jobs will be cut. The company cites regulatory excess of the Obama Administration as a direct cause to the layoffs." (Colin Lawler, "Ohio Valley Coal Co. Announces Layoffs," WTRF, 7/21/12)

  • General Manager Ronald Koontz: The Obama Administration's War On Coal Is "Seeking To Destroy The Coal Industry And The Jobs Of Our Own Employees And The Livelihoods Of Their Families." "Announcing the reduction of 29 jobs at its Powhatan No. 6 Mine in Belmont County, Ohio, General Manager Ronald Koontz attacked the Obama administration for a 'war on coal seeking to destroy the coal industry and the jobs of our own employees and the livelihoods of their families.'" (Erich Schwartzel, "Two Coal Companies Downsize," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 7/20/12)

Manager Of Industrial Engineering For Murray Energy Corp: We Are Using Less And Less Coal "Because Of The Environmental Restrictions From The EPA." "Sener Calis, manager of industrial engineering for Murray Energy Corp. in Alledonia, has been working in the coal industry for 42 years. He testified that EPA regulations are making it harder for companies to mine coal. 'We have enough coal in this country to last us 300 years, to provide us with a clean source of energy, a reliable source of energy, but we are using less and less because of the environmental restrictions from the EPA. ... I had been in the (Ohio) Valley since 1972 and it's a much cleaner environment, it's a much better environment. As far as I'm concerned, it's about the cleanest we've ever been,' he said." (Sarah Harmon, "'War On Coal' Hearing Held In St. Clarisville," The Intelligencer , 8/1/12)

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Democrats Are Asking The EPA To Keep Open 14 Waste-Coal To Energy Plants In The State That Are Currently Slated For Shutdown As A Result Of EPA Regulations. "Pennsylvania congressmen from both parties are asking for the Environmental Protection Agency's help to keep open 14 waste coal to energy plants in the state. The 14 plants are slated to be shut because of the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Three of the plants are in Cambria County and one each in Indiana and Clarion. The letter asks the EPA to consider that the plants reduce the amount of waste coal in Pennsylvania and allow them to continue without meeting the current limitation in hyrdochloric acid emissions." (Paul Gough, "Senators Ask EPA To Reduce Waste-Coal Limits," Pittsburgh Business Times , 10/16/12)

  • According To A Letter Authored By The Congressmen, The Plants Employ Over 1,000 People, Many In Economically Distressed Areas Of Pennsylvania. "'Besides the environmental benefits, these plants directly employ over 1,000 people, with additional thousands employed indirectly. We believe the economic stimulus from the plants to economically distressed areas of Pennsylvania is considerable. Removal of waste coal piles across Pennsylvania also benefits communities that have long lived with the legacy of problems associated with abandoned 'gob' and 'culm' piles that were created before environmental regulations existed,' the letter said." (Paul Gough, "Senators Ask EPA To Reduce Waste-Coal Limits," Pittsburgh Business Times , 10/16/12)

Pennsylvania Democrats Signing The Letter Include Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Mark Critz, Rep. Jason Altmire, And Rep. Tim Holden. "The letter was signed by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., along with Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa.; Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa.; Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.; Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa.; Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.; Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; and Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa." (Paul Gough, "Senators Ask EPA To Reduce Waste-Coal Limits," Pittsburgh Business Times , 10/16/12)

According To The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Due To EPA Regulations, 22 Coal Units In Pennsylvania Are Retiring Or Being Converted, Resulting In The Retiring Or Converting Of 3,588 Megawatts Of Electricity. ("Coal Retirements As Of September 2012," The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Accessed 9/19/12)

Alpha Natural Resources Announced It's Eliminating 1,200 Jobs, Nearly A Tenth Of Its Work Force. "Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it's cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person work force." (Vicki Smith, "Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All," The Associated Press, 9/18/12)

  • The Dora Mine In Jefferson County, Pennsylvania Is One Of The Eight Mines Alpha Will Idle. "The Dora Mine in Jefferson County, owned by the Amfire subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), is one of eight mines Alpha will idle due to the changing climate for the coal industry. The others are in West Virginia and Virginia. Other mines in Pennsylvania are not affected, an Alpha Natural Resources spokesman said in an email to the Pittsburgh Business Times." ("Coal Mine Near Latrobe To Be Idled," Pittsburgh Business Times , 9/19/12)

Exelon Corp. Plants In Chester And Phoenixville Are Expected To Be Closed. "'It's fully expected that some smaller coal-fired power plants will retire,' [Douglas] Biden [Douglas Biden, President of the Electric Power Generation Association] said. 'Eddystone and Cromby have already seen the handwriting on the wall,' he said, referring to Exelon Corp. plants in Chester and Phoenixville, which will close by 2013." (Sandy Bauers, "Pennsylvania Coal Plants Face Big Changes Under Planned EPA Pollution-Control Rules," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/30/10)

GenOn Energy, Inc. Will Close Three Pennsylvania Coal-Fired Power Plants Because Of Onerous Federal Regulations. "GenOn Energy Inc. will shut down eight power plants over the next three years, three of them old, coal-burning power plants in Western Pennsylvania: at Elrama in northern Washington County, Shawville in Clearfield County and near New Castle in Lawrence County. The Houston-based power company announced the power plant deactivations Wednesday as part of its 2011 earnings report, blaming economics and federal environmental regulations requiring installation of pollution control equipment." (Don Hopey, "Off Switch Hit For Power Plants," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/12)

  • The Plant Closings Will Cost 180 Pennsylvania Jobs. "[T]he three Western Pennsylvania plant closures will result in a loss of 180 jobs - 60 at Elrama, 40 at New Castle and 80 at Shawville. All of those workers, as well as workers at other power plants scheduled to close, can apply for job openings at other GenOn power plants, he said." (Don Hopey, "Off Switch Hit For Power Plants," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/12)

PBS Coals Inc And RoxCoal Inc Laid Off 225 Workers As A Result Of Weakened Coal Demand And An "Aggressive Regulatory Structure." "Two area coal companies announced layoffs Friday, saying weakened coal demand and an aggressive regulatory structure forced the idling of several mines. PBS Coals Inc. and its affiliate company, RoxCoal Inc., laid off about 225 workers as part of an immediate idling of some deep and surface mines in Somerset County. The company now employs 795 workers." (Erich Schwartzel, "Two Coal Companies Downsize," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 7/20/12)

  • PBS President And CEO D. Lynn Shanks: "Additionally, The Escalating Costs And Uncertainty Generated By Recently Advanced EPA Regulations And Interpretations Have Created A Challenging Business Climate For The Entire Coal Industry." (Erich Schwartzel, "Two Coal Companies Downsize," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 7/20/12)

T.J. Rooney, Former Chairman Of Pennsylvania Democrats: Coal "Is An Issue That Will Define His Re-Election Fight Here In Pennsylvania As Well As Ohio." "Rooney said Obama needs to address coal and the balance he will strike between environmental protection and rising energy costs: 'It is an issue that will define his re-election fight here in Pennsylvania as well as Ohio.'" (Salena Zito, "Pa. Coal Country Skeptical Of Obama," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/25/12)

  • Rooney: Obama's Refusal To Mention Coal When Discussing American Energy Is "Disappointing." "Last Thursday, in what the White House touted as his 'big American-made energy' speech, the president never mentioned coal. 'That's -- that is just disappointing,' said T.J. Rooney, former chairman of Pennsylvania Democrats, who oversaw several very successful election cycles for his party." (Salena Zito, "Pa. Coal Country Skeptical Of Obama," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , 3/25/12)
  • Rooney: Obama Needs To "Strike A Better Balance" With The Country's Natural Resources. "T.J. Rooney, Pennsylvania's former Democratic Party chairman, said Obama needs to 'strike a better balance' with all of the country's natural resources. 'Right now, it is a problem,' said Rooney, noting he's frustrated that he hasn't heard the president talk lately about clean coal as part of his 'all-of-the-above' approach to energy production. Obama hasn't mentioned coal in speeches or news conferences since October, the Tribune-Review found in reviewing White House press reports." (Salena Zito, "Romney's Focus On Energy In PA Visit," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , 4/23/12)

Virginia

According To The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Due To EPA Regulations, 16 Coal Units In Virginia Are Retiring Or Being Converted, Resulting In The Retiring Or Converting Of 2,518 Megawatts Of Electricity. ("Coal Retirements As Of September 2012," The American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, Accessed 9/19/12)

In Virginia, Coal Generates 30 Percent Of The Electricity, Provides Power For Up To One Million Homes And 58,000 Businesses, And Employs More Than 45,000 People. "Coal provides 30 percent of Virginia's electricity - some 20.2 billion kilowatts, according to the Energy Information Administration. That's enough to power 1 million homes and 58,000 businesses. Virginia ranks 12th in the nation in coal production, EIA said. Direct and indirect employment from coal mining account for 45,210 jobs and a combined payroll of $3.4 billion." (Kenric Ward, "Climate Regulations Leaving Virginia Coal Out In The Cold," The Examiner, 8/12/12)

American Electric Power Co. Will Close One Unit At Its Clinch River Plant And Will Shutter Its Glen Lyn Plant By 2014. "About 500,000 tons of coal a year are burned at the Clinch River plant, an aging Appalachian Power Co. facility that has been producing electricity since Dwight Eisenhower occupied the White House. The fate of this 53-year-old power plant, and others like it across the country, could soon be determined by new regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. … American Electric Power Co., the parent company of Appalachian, says the rules would force it to shut one unit at the Clinch River plant and convert the remaining two to burn natural gas instead of coal. The second coal-burning facility that Appalachian runs in Southwest Virginia, the Glen Lyn plant in Giles County, would be shut down completely by 2014." (Laurence Hammack, "Power Or Poison? EPA Rules Could Limit Coal-Fueled Plants' Emissions," Roanoke Times, 10/9/11)

  • The Closures Will Increase Electricity Rates From 10-15 Percent And Cost 80 Area Jobs. "The closures and conversions could mean a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in electricity rates, Appalachian has said - adding another twist to the conflict between coal and clean air. … About 80 power plant jobs would be lost to the regulations in the 9th District." (Laurence Hammack, "Power Or Poison? EPA Rules Could Limit Coal-Fueled Plants' Emissions," Roanoke Times, 10/9/11)

CONSOL Energy Has Idled Its Buchanan Mine And May Idle Another, Leading Officials To Worry About A Potential $2 Million Hit Against Revenues. "CONSOL Energy said global market conditions led to the idling of one of its two Virginia coal mines - the Buchanan Mine complex near Oakwood in Buchanan County - and could result in the idling of another. The decision has Buchanan County officials worried, because it could mean a $2 million hit against the county's 2012-13 budget revenues."(Mike Still, "Global Market Conditions Idles CONSOL Mine," TriCities, 9/5/12)

  • CONSOL Energy Is Responding To "Weak Market Conditions" In Idling The Mine. "CONSOL Energy is responding to weak market conditions throughout its export markets in Asia, Europe and South America," the company said in a written announcement of the decision. The Buchanan Mine - CONSOL's only mine in the county - produces about 400,000 tons monthly of metallurgical-grade coal for steel production. According to information on CONSOL's website, Buchanan set a company record for coal production in 2011 with 5.7 million tons mined that year." (Mike Still, "Global Market Conditions Idles CONSOL Mine," TriCities, 9/5/12)
  • The Idling Has Led CONSOL To Furlough 606 Employees. "CONSOL spokeswoman Cathy St. Clair said Tuesday that the company has furloughed 606 employees at the Buchanan complex. The complex's preparation plant will retain six employees while another 160 salaried employees and 11 mine rescue team members will stay on the job, St. Clair said." (Mike Still, "Global Market Conditions Idles CONSOL Mine," TriCities, 9/5/12)

Dominion Virginia Power Has Plans To Shut Down Coal-Fired Plants In Yorktown And Chesapeake. "Dominion Virginia Power, another major electric utility serving Virginia, also plans to shut down its coal-fired plants at Yorktown and Chesapeake. The two facilities have a combined capacity to generate 1,189 megawatts." (Kenric Ward, "Climate Regulations Leaving Virginia Coal Out In The Cold," The Examiner, 8/12/12)

Alpha Natural Resources Announced It's Eliminating 1,200 Jobs, Nearly A Tenth Of Its Work Force. "Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it's cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person work force." (Vicki Smith, "Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All," The Associated Press, 9/18/12)

  • "Closing Four Mines In West Virginia, Three In Virginia, And One In Pennsylvania," Miners Will Be Either Reassigned Or Laid Off Immediately, And Support Positions Will Also Be Cut Proportionally. "Alpha said it is closing four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines. All the mines being closed are non-union operations. Alpha didn't immediately name the mines because they wanted to inform all the workers first. Though some miners will stay on to seal the operations, most will either be reassigned or laid off immediately. Support positions will also be cut proportionally as Alpha reduces its operating regions from four to two, Crutchfield said, and two executives will retire Nov. 1." (Vicki Smith, "Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All," The Associated Press, 9/18/12)
  • "The Virginia Mines Are Guest Mountain Deep Mines No. 8 And No. 9 Near Norton, And The Twin Star Surface Mine Near Hurley." (Vicki Smith, "Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All," The Associated Press, 9/18/12)

GenOn Energy's Coal-Fired Power Plant In Alexandria, Virginia Was Shut Down. "A coal-fired power plant in Alexandria that has drawn the scorn of environmentalists for decades is about to be shut down. The GenOn Power Plant will close Monday under an agreement between city officials and Houston-based GenOn Energy." ("Coal-Fired Power Plant In Alexandria Is Poised To Close, Pleasing Local Officials," The Associated Press , 9/30/12)

  • The Plant "Has Been Forced To Scale Back Its Operations In Recent Years To Comply With The Clean Air Act." "The plant opened in 1949 and has been forced to scale back its operations in recent years to comply with the Clean Air Act. GenOn will get back about $32 million the city had held in escrow to use for environmental controls under an agreement signed in 2008, the AP reports." ("Coal-Fired Power Plant In Alexandria Is Poised To Close, Pleasing Local Officials," The Associated Press , 9/30/12)

Former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): EPA Regulations And Other Factors Have "Put The Coal Industry In A Very Difficult Position." "'I tend to think the EPA regulations are a minor part of the equation,' Boucher said. 'But the sum total has put the coal industry in a very difficult position.'" (Fredrick Kunkle, "Woes In Virginia Coal Fields, Energy Policy Move To Fore In U.S. Senate Race," The Washington Post , 9/23/12)

Virginia State Sen. Phillip Puckett (D-Lebanon): "It's Very Clear To Me That The Administration Does Not Support The Coal Industry In A Way That's Beneficial To Our Area. So, I Don't Plan To Support President Obama For Re-Election." (George Jackson, "VA Sen. Phillip Puckett Says He Will Not Support Obama In 2012," WJHL, 9/22/11)

  • Puckett : In Southwest Virginia, "The Story Here Is Coal." "'The story here is coal,' said state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell County), who admits the regulatory and economic climate has made life tricky for his party. But Puckett said Kaine also has performed better than most Democrats in southwest Virginia." (Fredrick Kunkle, "Woes In Virginia Coal Fields, Energy Policy Move To Fore In U.S. Senate Race," The Washington Post , 9/23/12)
  • Puckett : "He Doesn't Listen To Me, And Quite Frankly He Wasn't My Choice For The Democratic Nomination." (George Jackson, "VA Sen. Phillip Puckett Says He Will Not Support Obama In 2012," WJHL, 9/22/11)

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