West Virginia Coal Mine Jobs Rise Under Obama
Despite the lies told by Sen. Joe Manchin (Joe Manchin) and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (Joe Manchin) and the Friends of Coal Barons Who Kill Miners, President Barack Obama’s EPA has not spelled doom to coal jobs. In fact, the opposite is true:
While the Obama administration and the EPA may be taking a harder look at mountain top removal mining permits, a quick look at coal mining employment in West Virginia reveals that since Obama took office in the winter of 2009 coal mining employment has grown by over 1,500 jobs or by 7.4%. If we measure from the end of the national recession in June 2009 (or the 2nd Quarter of 2009) to the third-quarter of 2011 (the latest available data), employment in the coal mining industry has grown by 3,100. For comparison, total employment in West Virginia has only grown by 2.9% over this period.
People have to really hate Obama to push the lies that come out of the coal industry, out of Manchin’s office and out of the Romney Campaign. It’s possible that the West Virginia politicos (even those claiming to be “Democrats”) have other goals in mind for this pathetically poor state.
- May 22 News: Coal Country Jobs At Two-Decade High, But Industry Campaigns Against ‘Job Killing’ Regulations (thinkprogress.org)
- The real war on coal (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- W.Va. coal-mining jobs on rise under Obama (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- Coal politics: What W.Va. doesn’t want to talk about (blogs.wvgazette.com)
- Second West Virginia Dem unsure about Obama (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
… all glad to see my concern and all saying they’ll keep me in mind as legislation comes up.
However, not one of them, whether Democrat or Republican, got elected without financial support from the coal companies that are destroying West Virginia with mountain top removal to get coal. If you think that means they are going to regulate the coal companies who are destroying our state… ruining homes, water supplies and the tourist industry… then you have got to be kidding yourself.
Here’s a piece by Michael Jonathon:
So… of you’re anywhere in the states that have Appalachian coal mining, keep this in mind next Fall when the politicians are campaigning in your neck of the woods.
- Jeff Biggers: Dear Soledad: Appalachian Leaders Respond to CNN’s Blair Mountain Special on Mountaintop Removal (huffingtonpost.com)
- Removing mountaintops yields coal, controversy (cnn.com)
- Lethal Fallout from Mining Spurs a Mountaintop Removal Moratorium Campaign to End to the Humanitarian Crisis in Appalachia (alternet.org)
- Extra 60,000 Cancer Cases from Mountaintop Removal (gcvconservation.wordpress.com)
- Sen. Manchin Maintains Lucrative Ties to Family-Owned Coal Company (nytimes.com)
- Poll: Majority oppose controversial coal mining practice (cnn.com)
- The new battle for Blair Mountain (cnn.com)
- WATCH: Soledad O’Brien Takes On Hugely Controversial Environmental Issue (huffingtonpost.com)
Salon asked the author of BIG COAL, Jeff Goodall, why it is important that the government has move to close a mountaintop removal coal mine.Here is a exerpt… but you will likely want to read the whole article:
Those of us who live in West Virginia have worried for quite awhile over the polluting properties of mountaintop removal in Coal Mining, as well as “fracking” for gas and oil in shale rock. Both are happening in this state and both are poisoning its residents. This move by the EPA is both brave and valuable; brave because it knows the newly powerful Republicans would destroy the EPA if it could, valuable because it shows that the government can do its job and protect citizens from corporate induced danger.
It is a good first step, but this is ONLY a first step.
- EPA Vetoes Permit For Largest Mountaintop Removal Mine In West Virginia, Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 (alternet.org)
- Landmark EPA Ruling Revokes a Mountaintop Removal Mine’s Permit | 80beats (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- EPA Vetoes Largest Mountaintop Removal Permit: New Era of Civility in the Coalfields? | CommonDreams.org (f33dyourhead.wordpress.com)
- Could Revoked West Virginia Coal Mine Permit Trigger a Renewable Energy Boom? (fastcompany.com)
- Coal industry fumes as US revokes mining permit (alternet.org)
- EPA Vetoes Proposed West Virginia Mountaintop Removal Mine (sierraclub.typepad.com)
…but there is no A Bomb here… instead a destructive force that absolutely affects us folks in West Virginia and nearby states.
Signals being sent by tapping on pipes down shafts which have been drilled 1000 feet or more have not gotten responses. Governor Manchin’s update this morning was pretty depressing, but family members of the four unaccounted for men still continue to wait.
Perhaps they will be able to send a team down later today, but the odds against finding anyone alive are very long.
It now looks like the mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, has a significant history of safety violations, including 57 infractions just last month for (among other things) not properly ventilating the highly combustible methane.
It has also ignored many of these violation notices, refused to pay fines and in the past year, faced federal fines of more than $382,000 for repeated serious violations involving its ventilation plan and equipment at Upper Big Branch.
Massey CEO Don Blankenship has a history of bribing politicians and judges and threatening reporters who bring the mine’s violations public. Check out some from the last four years on ABC HERE.
Unfortunately, it looks like Senators Byrd and Rockefeller looked the other way as well.