Much at Stake for Coal

Editor’s Note: Following are excerpts from a speech given Saturday by Robert E. Murray, chief executive officer of Murray Energy Corp. His remarks were given during an event he hosted in Wheeling for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and 11 other members of Congress from Ohio.

Efforts to wreak the total destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama, his appointed Cabinet bureaucrats, and his supporters in the U.S. House and Senate, are rapidly accelerating. Nothing has been enacted to even slow them down, let alone stop them. Mr. Obama has totally usurped the legislation branch of our federal government in his radical agenda.

While Republicans in the United States House of Representatives have passed a number of legislative bills to overturn the destruction to coal caused by Mr. Obama’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, (the bills have not) progressed in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate. Even then, Mr. Obama has said that he will veto it. But the Republican-controlled House can slow Mr. Obama’s destructive rampage by exposing him and his actions at every turn and by shutting off the funding to his regulatory agencies, through the appropriations process that is currently in progress.

The Obama administration’s declared war on coal – remember, he said, “we will bankrupt them,” speaking of coal-fired power generation – has been speeding along with unrestrained new regulations, in part in including the:

  • Stream Buffer Zone Rule,
  • 1 mg/Cubic Meter Dust Standard,
  • Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,
  • Utility MACT,
  • Boiler MACT,
  • Coal Ash Rules,
  • Greenhouse Gas Rules.

Mr. Obama and his appointed bureaucrats have already forced the closure of 83 gigawatts (83,000 megawatts) of coal-fired electricity in our country through 2014. This is about 220 coal-fired power plants. This is the 4-cent per kilowatt hour coal-fired electricity, not the Obama administration’s 22-cent per kilowatt hour wind and solar power, which get a $24 per-kilowatt hour subsidy from the taxpayer.

While this is happening, China, alone, has been building a new 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant every week. While coal use in the United States has already been reduced from the historical 1.2 billion tons per year to just over 800 million tons, coal consumption in China is now five times larger at about 4 billion tons annually – and growing.

The proposals of Mr. Obama’s U.S. EPA alone were estimated to destroy 2.15 million American jobs and result in $200 billion in electricity rate increases, all by 2020, before his campaign to place “climate change” controls on so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions from electric power plants, which he announced this month. This is notwithstanding that the earth has cooled for the last 16 years and that there is no connection between human activity and any “global warming.” His agenda, and that of his Democrat supporters, is to tax carbon to obtain additional revenue to operate the already bloated federal government.

But, Mr. Obama’s actions are a human issue to me, as I know the names of many of the Americans whose jobs and family livelihoods are being destroyed as he appeases his radical environmentalist, unionist, liberal elitist, Hollywood character, and other constituents.

This accelerating Obama regulatory rampage, which is not being slowed, explains why I am frightened for you, my employees, and the communities in which we live. You and our other 3,300 employees are being denied the right to work with honor and dignity. This is not the America that I cherish. …

Next year, we must maintain Republican control of the United States House of Representatives by returning Speaker John Boehner and all other 11 incumbent U. S. congressmen from Ohio, and gaining other seats that are currently held by Democrats. Our mines and jobs, and the livelihoods of our families, are at stake.