Coal mining jobs in Kentucky are taking a hit. A big hit. The James River Coal company is closing a handful of mines in the eastern part of the state, and with those closures, is laying off 525 employees.
Rand Paul, the junior U.S. senator from that state, is pointing a finger at the EPA and President Obama.
Writes Michael Bastach of The Daily Caller:
“’The president’s war-on-coal agenda is killing Kentucky jobs, as is evident from the closing of these mines in Eastern Kentucky,’ Moira Bagley, spokeswoman for Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, told TheDCNF. ‘The onerous EPA regulations on the coal industry are cutting off the lifeblood of thousands of Kentucky families.’”
Paul’s office wasn’t the only one who expressed dissatisfaction with the EPA and the federal government. Paul’s colleague in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, also responded with dismay.
“’Over 500 Kentuckians are now wondering how they’re going to feed their family and pay their bills, as a result of another shutdown at Kentucky coal mines,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, another Kentucky Republican. ‘The President is leading a war on coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is a war on jobs.’”
James River Coal, for their part, said the closings were taking place due to a “weakness” in the coal markets, both in the United States and internationally. Bastach notes that the mines in eastern Kentucky have suffered from EPA regulations, as well as a rise in affordable natural gas.
The EPA is adding to the list of regulations soon, as they look to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The move would essentially ban the construction of new power plants that use coal for power – unless, that is, they use a carbon capture technology that the coal industry says isn’t available for commercial purchase at this point.
Reading between the lines – the EPA doesn’t want new coal power plants, regardless of the price some families and industries may pay.
You can be sure you’ll hear more from Paul on this issue, which not only infringes upon peoples’ rights with more government restrictions, but also negatively impacts his home state and constituents.
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