Interview With The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, 1/17/08)
Mitt Romney has been appealing to coal workers from across the country, many of which who have suffered from Obama's War on Coal and are actively calling for Obama to be fired with signs stating "Stop The War On Coal. Fire Obama"," scattered throughout the cities that have a large coal industry within. (Sign seen top left)
Now West Virginia Democrats are slamming Obama's EPA for delaying a surface mining permit for Consol Energy. Approval of the mining permit was expected to lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs over the next 15 years.
This comes after Consol Energy said a hold up in permitting a surface mine Mingo County will result in the layoff of 145 southern West Virginia workers.
The layoffs were announced Oct. 30, and workers were told the layoffs would take place over a 14-day period starting on Dec. 30. Operations impacted include the company's Wiley Surface Mine, Wiley Creek Surface Mine, Minway Surface Mine, Minway Preparation Plant and Miller Creek administration group, all located in Mingo County. Underground miners are not to be affected.
"The decision to idle our Miller Creek surface operations is a difficult one for several reasons," said Nicholas J. DeIuliis, president of Consol Energy. "The facility has operated without a lost-time accident since 1986, an exemplary safety record for the mining industry, and it is unfortunate that they will not be afforded the opportunity to extend that record. The failure to obtain timely permits despite our efforts in planning and cooperating with multiple agencies of jurisdiction is frustrating and is having a direct impact not only on these employees and their families, but on all state residents."
Some quotes from coal country Democrats:
Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall said they were "outraged" by the EPA's decision to delay a surface mining permit for Consol Energy. Approval of the mining permit was expected to lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs over the next 15 years.Obama deliberately started his war on coal, made his intentions to do so before the 2008 election and has continued up until today.
"I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them," Sen. Manchin said. "The EPA has lost court case after court case for its overreach, and it should be using better judgment by now.
"I vow to work with the governor's office, our entire Congressional delegation and members of both parties to make sure that this vital project will move forward."
Sen. Rockefeller said the layoff notices were caused by "bureaucracy and delay," and also pledged to fight for the approval of the permit.
"There is simply too much at stake," he said. "Both sides must come together to get this resolved for Mingo County and throughout southern West Virginia."
Governor Tomblin blamed the EPA for further delaying the project, and said that would cost jobs in his state.
"Instead of stalling and creating unnecessary impediments, we should be working together to put people to work, develop our infrastructure, and provide the low-priced energy that our country needs," he said. "This project would accomplish all three of these crucial goals."