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War on coal casualties

When I was growing up, and throughout my high school years, coal mining was the bread-and-butter for a helluva lot of blue-collar families in my area of rural Southeastern Ohio. Just outside of town the World Record "Big Muskie" dragline crane employed many of my closest friends and classmates dads. In fact, coal trucks brimming full roared past right in front of my family home headed to the coal fired electric plant just 20-miles north of where I lived. And empty trucks going even faster that their loaded bretheren came zinging by southward as they went for more loads. I delivered afternoon newspapers on my bicycle and by some miracle I wasn't killed by one of those huge trucks driving fast as hell down the state highway that we called our neighborhood.

I may have hated the trucks and the black dust, but I never hated coal or coal powered industry. It was, and still is, a vital part of America and her economy and continued growth and energy independence.

We simply cannot shut down the American Coal Industry.
CarbineMike, I'm glad others are taking notice.

Out of those 1200 people laid off, sadly 400 were from my county alone.

Our local economy is in dire straights.

Unfortunately, this doesn't only affect those 1200 miners. There are a host of outside businesses that supplies goods to those mines that rely on those mines as much as the miners themselves.

In turn, there are other businesses that relies on income/revenue from it as well.

This affects A LOT of families

In some ways, I hate to say this, but our Democratic Governor has not done enough for our miners by confronting the President about it, but I will say that he has recently completed a world wide trip to several overseas countries to try to give our mines some alternatives that they can sell to.

But it does nothing to address the fact that mines are not being able to obtain permits and the taxes that are killing the industry.

I recently recieved a letter from Gov. Bashear that cited re-training and the likes for miners to get into another trade, but I am less than thrilled with how they're handling the problems facing it.

I'll be honest, it would not take much for the coal industry to entirely close for a while for the masses to realize just how dependent they are on coal whether they like it or not.

Either that, or stick their noses up at the Government and mine with or without their approval.

Even though they'd be arrested and fined and probably assinated by thugs like they did the last turn of the century. The U.S. President had to step in to stop all that then, but this time, the President and his cronies are responsible for it.
My area of PA doen't mine coal but elsewhere in the state they sure do. I am also concerned about the power grid as more coal plants go offline without a suitable replacement. It would be ugly for a grid down scenario.

An editorial on the subject:


Part of the editorial:
At this point, you’d have to be blind not to see President Obama’s war on coal, and the devastating impact it is already having on coal mining communities and will, sooner rather than later, have on everyone who pays an electric bill. Does this administration care at all about saving American jobs? The latest announcement came from Alpha Natural Resources, which is laying off 1,200 coal miners, citing “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”

We shouldn’t be surprised by what’s happening. Obama told us his disastrous plan for the coal industry and affordable electricity on the campaign trail in 2008. “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them,” candidate Obama said then. “Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” he added.

First he tried a massive cap-and-trade plan. It failed. The day after the 2010 landslide election, he said: “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat.” Now he's abusing regulatory power to accomplish the same deeply destructive goal of bankrupting coal.

We’ve already seen mercury rules from the EPA that will impose tens of billions of dollars in retrofit costs for coal plants, heavy-handed denials of clean water permits to block mining operations, and even an illegal attempt to veto an already approved permit to block a West Virginia mine – that one was overturned by a judge who accused the EPA of “magical thinking.” A cross-state air pollution rule designed to cripple coal was also at least temporarily blocked by the courts, but with dozens of draconian rules there is plenty of redundancy.

Worst of all is the power plant greenhouse gas rule, designed to transform Obama’s failed cap-and-trade scheme into the law of the land by distorted and contorted the 1970 Clean Air Act. As EPA regional administrator Curt Spalding let slip, the rule says that “basically gas plants are the performance standard, which means if you want to build a coal plant, you got a big problem.”
Someone needs to tell Consumers Energy that natural gas is cheap, maybe they'll lower my winter heating bill.
carbinemike said:

Yeah, right.

natural gas is cheaper. I admit it and said it out loud.

Why is natural gas cheaper? Because coal is taxed and regulated to freakin' death by dotgov.




This not only hurts the Miners, this hurts the Railroad, Barge Workers, and many more. This is going to hinder a large part of the country.

Since this announcement and the beginning of this process to shut them down, the Northfolk Southern Railway Company, alone, has taken a HUGE nose dive and stocks have been dropping steadily, lay offs and I know personally this has hurt my household. The Altoona, Rose Yard, Train Terminal gets almost 70% of it's work from the local coal mines, and 1 of 3 has been almost completely shut down, and the other 2 have laid off a lot of guys.

Why he (Mr. Obama) would even consider something like this is disgusting and going to further cripple our nation... Just my little rant :) haha
John A. said:
There are a host of outside businesses that supplies goods to those mines that rely on those mines as much as the miners themselves.

This affects A LOT of families

I'll be honest, it would not take much for the coal industry to entirely close for a while for the masses to realize just how dependent they are on coal whether they like it or not.

I missed all this in my first go around, but I 100% agree with the last quoted portion!

Shut'em down fellas, for a day... watch as the Gov't begs for you to go back to work!

If the railroad shuts down for a full 48hrs, the result can be as much as setting the whole country back 7 days in goods transportation and ironically, a HUGE portion of the shipped bulk goods, is COAL!

Could you imagine if the mines shut down for a little bit? Get'em By the Balls Boys!!
Yeah, right.
...my thought exactly.

The article I posted seems more like a political ad disguised as news on MSNBC . It's their way of saying "never mind the last 4 years, Obama didn't hurt coal and you can vote for him! It's not really him, it's natural gas!" ...and it was a video causing muslim riots and Obamacare is not a tax and Obama believes in the 2nd Ammendment and he not an EU style socialist and we're better off now than 4 years ago and he will be transparent and lobbyists won't have access and he will bring people together and right our wrongs in the world and cut the deficit in half in his first term and reduce unemployment...and...and...and...and
Carbinemike I have a feeling that i know who you aren't voting for :p

I think the General Public honestly falls for all the propaganda.. It is sick.
Itsricmo said:
Carbinemike I have a feeling that i know who you aren't voting for :p

I think the General Public honestly falls for all the propaganda.. It is sick.

They don't in my area.

All I can say is Thank God for freedom of speech, otherwise, the people in my area would sure be in trouble.

Obama didn't carry this state in '08, and I would be willing to go out on a very long limb and say that he'll have his pink slip handed to him come November. At least if it were determined from just me and my neighbors.

You can't even go in a store or hospital waiting room without hearing even little old ladies voicing how dissatisfied they are with him.

To be completely honest, I can't remember ever hearing a positive word he has done about ANYTHING from ANYONE.

And I'm not going to repeat much of what I have heard in respect for the forum rules, but this administration is hated as much as the nazi's and Japenese were back in wwII. I bet if you tried, you wouldn't find 50 people in my whole county saying they are planning to vote for him.

To be perfectly honest, I know 1 person who said they're going to vote for him and two who are undecided. One of those said they probably won't vote at all.

That's how bad the man is disliked in my county.

And just a small reminder to the Administration:

http://www.middlesborodailynews.com/vie ... ds-of-Coal

Thousands support Hands of Coal




Anthony Cloud and Chase Smith

Staff Writers

The sounds of horns and cheers filled the air as thousands gathered along US 25E in support of the coal industry. Hands of Coal across Bell County was one of the largest coal rallies ever in the county.

“I was very pleased with the whole day,” said event organizer Joe Harris.

The weather was perfect for the event. The sky was clear and the temperature was pleasant. “The day was like a blessing from God,” said Harris.

Harris said even though many have been down because of the loss of jobs in the coal industry, Saturday was a time that uplifted many spirits.

During the prayer at 2:30 p.m., there were some cars that stopped in the road to pray along with everyone else. The prayer was given by Brian O’Brien over 106.3 The Big One.

According to the calculations of Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock, there were over 5,000 people at the event from the Knox County line to the tunnel. Brock used the term “humbling” to describe the event.

Among those people were several coal miners and former coal miners. One individual present was Wayne Partin, a coal miner of 27 years. Partin stated that he hopes the rally has an impact of the coal industry.

“(Coal) is the main source of life in this country for us. It doesn’t make much sense what the (EPA) are doing to us,” said Partin.

Carl Whitehead, who drives a coal truck, hopes that the rally will help get the coal industry “back to rolling”. Many members of Whitehead’s family are coal miners.

“There is people suffering,” said Whitehead about the lose of jobs in the coal industry.

Middlesboro mayor Bill Kelley attended this event in full support. “The city of Middlesboro doesn’t mine the coal here in the city, but there are many businesses here that depend on coal,” said Kelley. “This is what makes the industry so valuable. It’s not just the coal miners, but all businesses in this part of the country are taking a major hit.”

“The greatest part about it is that it stayed non-political. I hope this makes it to Washington, D.C. because they need to hear from us,” said Kelley.

The manager of Middlesboro Mall, Charles Burchfield also showed his support at the event. “Coal is the largest industry in this area,” said Burchfield. “Without our coal miners being able to work and some of these restrictions being eased, our area is really going to suffer. Coal has been a major part of life in southeast Kentucky as long as I can remember, and it’s really in jeopardy right now.”

Shawn Rigby, whom is the safety director for US Coal, states, “people don’t understand that every job lost in the coal industry is a family that lost their income as well. The support of coal mining means the future for our country.”

The concern for the coal industry continues to grow. Harris said he has received several calls from Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell about the event. He has also been contacted by the National Mining Association.

Several surrounding areas has also contacted Harris to help with their own coal rallies. Those areas include Pikeville and Jonesville, Va.

“(Coal rallies) are spreading across the region,” said Harris.
Wow, that is awesome! 5000 people is a lot of people!

But yet, for some reason, they still shut down the mines... What did ever happen to the mines being Union?
Some mines are union, some are not, some never were.

The United Mine Workers Association, coupled with the US Steel Workers union has been both a blessing and a curse in some ways but has always depended on the leadership of them at any certain point in time.

They helped open a chain of hospitals throughout Appalachia back in the late 60's, early 70's, (Appalachian Regional Healthcare) that provide the bulk of the medical care to residents in this area. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Of which, the employee's of the Hospitals are also mainly union. My Mother retired from one of them after more than 20 years of service and ultimately the Head RN for the Medical Dept. in one of those hospitals. She worked in numerous positions through those years including OB/GYN, Medical, Surgical, Oncology, etc.

As for my Dad, are more bittersweet memories.

Like many other people in this region, he was a 3rd generation coal miner, doing multiple jobs in the mines throughout the years, but mostly electrician the last few years he was able to work.

He got covered up in 1979 in a roof fall, which only God helped him live through that. The rock that crushed him from the ribcage down was estimated at 2 tons, 26 broken bones, punctured lung, all his innards were bruised, his lunch was pushed back out of him from the weight on him, and somehow during that he asked God to take care of his kids.

12 operations on his shoulder, 3 on his knee before finally gave in to a knee replacement. Then he went back to work and worked until the bad snowstorm in '87 when he was shoveling snow off the belt line outside when he slipped and grabbed the railing to keep him from falling off the structure altogether, and ripped his shoulder joint out, thus destroying his arm.

After several years, like many others, breathing all that coal and rock dust over the years from the process of mining in a confined area, his breathing steadily got worse to emphysema, and in the end, black lung killed him. He was dependant on oxygen (and a lot of it) 24-7, and with the inability to transfer oxygen from his lungs to his heart, his kidneys and other organs finally started shutting down from the strain and he ultimately died from it.

So, I have very mixed feelings about the coal industry in general and although I fully support coal miners, I know all too well the ultimate cost of it to have that light switch and computer screen.

If there was an alternative/adequate power source in place, and other industries to give people here good work, you better believe we'd support it before we'd crawl two miles in a hole to dig a black rock, but until that is in place, we cannot stop what we're doing now because the infrastructure of our country simply can not maintain their position in the world and way of life as we know it without coal. That is probably the most frustrating part is they refuse to see that and are actively trying to "bankrupt us".

The Unions have helped get better wages and treatment to miners, but just because it is a Union mine or not, doesn't necessarily make your job safe from regulation or closure, or whatever.

And this was my Dad. The strongest, bravest, toughest, loving man I've ever known.


Carbinemike I have a feeling that i know who you aren't voting for :p
Oh, I'll vote for Romney but I have concerns about him too. Another 4 years with BHO scares the crap out of me.

BHO took PA in the last election. He won it by dominating Philly/Pittsburgh and their suburbs and high turm out there. I'm hoping the state reverses course. PA does go back and forth between Dem/Repub for both president and govenor.

You can't even go in a store or hospital waiting room without hearing even little old ladies voicing how dissatisfied they are with him.
I have had total strangers come up to me in public, insult BHO and ask that I please vote for Romney. Our nearest town (2 red light town) had a parade recently to kick off the agriculture/community fair we have. A group of 10 democrats marched in the parade and were jeered regularly. I thought it was hilarious.

JohnA, great post! I enjoyed reading it a lot. I won't say much since I think it stands so well on its own. I'll only add that your Dad was quite a man and he exemplified what made out country great.
I am a control room operator at a natural gas combined cycle powerplant. Even I know that coal HAS TO STAY. This country would not be able to operate if coal powerplants had to close down for any reason. And there always seems to be some political or environmental reason why some joker thinks electricity from coal has to come to an end.
Watching this debate and hearing Obama talk about coal production being up.

Obama is a liar :evil: