EPA's War on Coal Continues
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The EPA's war against coal and by extension, jobs, continues to roll on, with more and more companies announcing closures and layoffs.
The EPA's vendetta against coal knows no bounds and defies all logic, according to the editorial board of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register.
“With encouragement from President Barack Obama, the EPA has launched a no-holds-barred war on coal -regardless of who gets hurt in the process.”
The latest company to succumb to EPA pressure is CONSOL Energy, which this week issued notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) of its intent to idle its Miller Creek surface operations near Naugatuck, W. Va., resulting in a layoff impacting approximately 145 employees.
Tuesday’s announcement by Consol is merely the latest of many closures responsive to the EPA’s well-documented “War on Coal.” In September, Alpha Natural Resources announced that it was forced to eliminate 1,200 employee positions this year through the closure of four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania. This past June, Arch Coal, Inc., announced a reduction of 750 jobs tied to production cuts in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Each of these companies cited the challenging regulatory environment promoted by the EPA as key contributing factors to these layoffs.
On the electric generation front, American Electric Power Company this year has retired or announced the retirement of over 5,000 megawatts of coal-fired electric generation, with hundreds of jobs impacted across Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Meanwhile, FirstEnergy Corporation is being forced to shutter six coal-fired power plants in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, along with another three such plants in West Virginia. Approximately 740 employees are impacted by these FirstEnergy closures. Scores of other generation facilities face a similar fate, all attributable – at least in part – to onerous regulations propounded by the EPA.