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Obama administration E.P.A. attacks coal mining jobs; West Virginia United Mine Workers Union endorsed the Socialist for President!

 

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Coal company

cuts 500 jobs,

blames

environmentalists


By Amanda Carpenter


December 9th, 2009


WASHINGTONTIMES.COM


Chalk up another 500 jobs

to the list of jobs President Obama

will need to create or save.


A Pittsburgh-based coal company,

CONSOL Energy,

will lay off nearly 500 of its

West Virginia workers next year

and its CEO blames environmentalists

dead-set against mountaintop mining

who have waged “nuisance” lawsuits

for the job loss.


But CONSOL Energy’s political

problems are not unique to the

mining industry,

which has suffered under the

Obama Administration.


The Environmental Protection

Agency is already holding 79 surface

mining permits in West Virginia,

Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.


The EPA says these permits could

violate the Clean Water Act and

warrant “enhanced” review.

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And, agency went

even further in October,


announcing plans to revoke a

permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine

in West Virginia.


The latest setback for the coal

industry was announced on Tuesday

when CONSOL Energy said close

to 500 workers would lose jobs at

their Fola Operations location

near Bickmore,

West Virginia in February 2010.


CEO Nicholas J. DeIuliis said the

poor economy compounded by legal

challenges by environmental activists

forced CONSOL to slash jobs.


“It is challenging enough to operate

our coal and gas assets in the current

economic downturn without having

to contend with a constant stream

of activism in rehashing and

reinterpreting permit applications

that have already been approved

or in the inequitable oversight

of our operations,”

he said in a statement.


“Customers will grow reluctant to

deal with energy producers they

perceive are unable to guarantee a

reliable supply due to regulatory

uncertainty.

It inhibits the ability

to remain competitive.”

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The Ohio Valley

Environmental Coalition,

the Sierra Club,

the West Virginia Highlands

Conservancy and the Coal River

Mountain Watch were the various

groups active on the legal challenge

CONSOL Energy refers to.


OVEC’s Executive Director

Janet Keating told the Washington

Times she believes CONSOL Energy

is using the lawsuit as an excuse

to layoff workers,

although she says

“we don’t hide the fact we don’t

like mountaintop mining.”


“The price of coal has dropped in half

and I think we are a convenient target,

a convenient scapegoat,” she said.


“This ruling does not even go

into effect for 60 more days so doesn’t

that tell you something?”

Ms. Keating added.

“Suddenly,

all the sudden they are issuing these

layoff notices as if the world is ending.”


District Judge Robert C. Chambers

handed down the ruling in question

on Nov. 24.

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He said the Army Corps of Engineers

violated the law by not giving the

public enough information during

the public comment period for permits

issued by the government,

although he wrote the error

“did not stem from any wrong-doing

on the part of the mining companies.”


Even though the court said not

enough information was given to

the public,

the permit application process for

the Fola mine consumed nearly

a year and a half,

according to court papers.


But,

environmentalists say they weren’t

given the enough specific information

during the 30-day public comment period.


“How can we make substantial comment

if they only give us general information?”

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Ms. Keating asked.


Judge Chambers said requiring the

mining companies to go back through

the public approval process would

provide the public “meaningful opportunity”

to weigh in on the permits as well

as “force the Corps to reconsider

these permits,

possibly with new information.”


“To put it into human terms,

we are talking about the jobs of

nearly 500 of our employees at the

Fola Operations,

and the impact such legal interpretations

will have on their quality of life and

that of their families,”

CONSOL CEO Mr. DeIuliis said.


But OVEC maintains CONSOL

Energy is putting blame in

the wrong place.


“We’re in a recession right now

and utilities are using less coal

and using more natural gas,”

Ms. Keating said.


“The manufacturing sector

isn’t using the same levels of coal

so there are these stockpiles and

they are going to wait until the

price of coal goes up.”

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Obama coal mining LINK in GREEN


Obama would destroy states

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One Response to “Obama administration E.P.A. attacks coal mining jobs; West Virginia United Mine Workers Union endorsed the Socialist for President!”

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