The War On Coal

And it is just beginning:

A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.

The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.

The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s “war on coal,” the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014” and for drastically reducing the market for coal.

“There is nowhere to sell our coal, and when we can, the market prices are far lower,” the statement said. “Without markets, there can be no coal mines and no coal jobs.”

14 thoughts on “The War On Coal

  1. Ah yes, the fabled “War on coal”. Of course it has nothing to do with the massive increase in natural gas production, including from “Fracking” under Obama. That virtually every new powerplant planned or actively under construction in the US has opted to go for gas fired rather then coal thanks to the lower cost of gas.

    Nor the fact that the near trippling of fuel prices during the Bush adminstration has greatly raised the cost of US exports leading China and other importers to increasingly source closer to home.

    Nor the fact that coal mining employment hit a 15 year last year under Obama, and current adjustments have more to do with overproduction and resulting problems related to the first two points above.

    • Ah you silly dolt. Haven’t you had enough of your own flippant hyperventilation over the past what … 12 years?

      Imagine how the coal industry would have succeeded with the same money invested in Solyndra and others were invested in natural resources? How many of them do you think might have gone bankrupt by now?

      Yeah, I thought as much.

      • So tell me- especially considering your political proclivities- why the taxpayer should be investing, more then it already is, in an industry that can stand on it’s own. (let,s see- the EIA in 2010 said $557 BILLION was spent globally subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, compared to $43 for alternative energies. (what does “international” have to do with this? Try billions in world bank loans for gas and coal fired plants. Electrification project. Ports. – Which ultimately often serves US producers.

        And we are talking what- $4 Billion+ in direct subsidies to fossil fuel yearly. Not including the environmental, social and health costs. You’re aware of the resurgence of Black Lung Disease in coal communities? The rise in deaths in in coal mine collapses where they ignore even the most minimal of regulations? The town in PA, that decades later, still has fires burning underground and is still largely evacuated?

        But yes, let’s keep pumping billions of taxpayers into profitable industries, that will, eventually (maybe not in our lifetimes) run out of econimcally recoverable materials. Let’s not bother looking to our children’s, and our children’s future. Because sadly, that seems to be the american way.

    • Drugs said:

      Ah yes, the fabled “War on coal”. Of course it has nothing to do with the massive increase in natural gas production, including from “Fracking” under Obama. That virtually every new powerplant planned or actively under construction in the US has opted to go for gas fired rather then coal thanks to the lower cost of gas.

      Somebody here on the RNL has lost touch with reality (which leaves one to wonder whether or not that might somehow be connected to his/her screen name? 😉 )

      • Ah, this tired tripe again. Maybe see the full interview, and the SF Chronicles response to Drudges hack job here:

        Obama was discussing a cap and trade system- and an end of dirty coal. And a move towards clean coal- something the Obama administration (and yes, the taxpayer) has invested billions. And as someone who grew up surrounded by the coal belt. Who saw our civil war monuments and graves decimated by acid rain. Who say the fish die out in our fishing streams, rivers and holes, who saw the rate of asthma and respiratory diseases- and the indiference of those making millions from the industry… a worthy investment

        • Errrnt — FAIL!

          When one watches the video, one learns — IN CONTEXT — that Obama said you are free to build coal plants (he did not differentiate, he just said coal plants), but he will bankrupt them with taxes and regulation.

          There’s no way to “context” your way out of that one because that is what he said.

          BTW: Obama also said he’s fine with $8/gal gas, he just doesn’t want to see it happen over night.

          • Um- did you watch the full video of his interview I linked to? No, of coure not. You are going by the selectively edided and thus out of context video you posted. Try watching the REAL interview- yes, it’s long- but you just might learn something.

            And no- Obama did not say that about gas- get your facts straight. That was steven Chu when he was at lawrence berkely national laboratory.

            And you do realize we are the only major nation that subsidizes gasoline to the extent we do? That other nations make the end user pay the real costs of gas (and thus greatly reduce not only its waste but the costs to society associated with it?

    • The increase in natural gas production has come from under private land, you moron – and has nothing to do with Obama’s lying ass or his policies. His EPA tried to stop fracking until the studies were so obvious that it isn’t a danger that they legally couldn’t fight it in court. He has cut permits on public land by 50%. Romney was spot on in the debate when he stated that. As far as the war on coal, it is real, the EPA is working furiously to ready new regulations.

      Wake up, asshat.

      More than 50 EPA staff are now crashing to finish greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants. Never before have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. The independent and non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates that the EPA’s greenhouse gas coal regulation will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion.

  2. (sigh) … I fear our corrections fall on drugsandotherthings’ deaf ears.

    He’s got his talking points, and nothing else.

  3. Observations:

    Coal production is down.

    Why? Factors include natural gas and stricter regulations, of which Obama is a vocal supporter.

    Despite the decline in coal production, coal employment figures do suggest an all time high since 1997, but these figures neglect to factor in contract workers, which “account for nearly 25% of the workforce and are often the first to get laid off.”

    With or without Obama, the Clean Air Act is responsible for strict regulation, and the EPA claims 34,000 lives are saved due to regulations.


    Do coal mines leave terrible messes, or is this overblown? From what I have seen: in the west, coal mines are just big holes in the middle of nowhere; who cares? In the east, I can understand the concern with mountain top mining, but then again I am a bit of a softie.

    Clean coal: potential reality or unicorn fart?

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