A major coal company announced plans this week to close eight
coal mines and cut 1,200 jobs. One expert discusses what that means
for the states in question.
The announcement from Alpha Coal involves eight mines across
Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It also cuts production
by 16 million tons. Alpha Coal's president is quoted as saying that
companies like his face "a regulatory environment that is
aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal."
Tom Borelli, senior fellow with FreedomWorks, discusses the situation.
"It's really a job killer, as the number of 1,200
coal miners being laid off describes, but this is not all equal,"
he says. "In a state like West Virginia, that state is heavily
dependent on coal for jobs. So when you take out a primary industry
in a state that depends on that industry, you're really going to
harm the state and lead that state to perhaps bankruptcy."
Borelli adds there are also the "political consequences of
President Obama's war on coal."
"The United Coal Miners union [has] not endorsed President
Obama," he tells OneNewsNow. "At least there is somebody thinking.
He's putting their union workers out on the street, and this could
really hurt President Obama in the states of West Virginia,
Virginia and perhaps Pennsylvania."
Borelli thinks it will also be an issue in Ohio, where 80
percent of its electricity comes from coal.
Meanwhile, Alpha is now concentrating on metallurgical coal used
in steel-making overseas.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on its
"Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012." The legislation includes five
bills, four of which were previously approved in the House, but
stalled in the Senate.