DON BLANKENSHIP

Coal region politicians – Mitch McConnell, Nick Rahall, and Joe Manchin- are again saying they want to stop the war on coal.  They are out with their “decade old messages.”  They say we need an energy policy, we need less stringent EPA regulations, and our country needs to use all electricity source fuels including coal.

These three fellas have been in key political offices a combined 97 years.  That’s just three years short of 100 years!!  All of them have been in political offices since before 1995, and yet coal sales from Central Appalachia have declined by over 150 million tons (60%) during that time.  These fellas have demonstrated no interest in fighting for coal jobs, and have instead protected their own jobs for a combined 97 years!!!

The fact is, Joe Manchin and Nick Rahall have been a big part of the “surrender of coal.”  The United Mine Workers too has been surrendering as they support Obama and Gore – the worst enemies of coal.  Anyone who supported Obama and Gore clearly doesn’t support coal.  Joe Manchin, Nick Rahall, Cecil Roberts, and Rich Trumka have been major supporters of Obama and Gore.  Trumka is a most frequent visitor to Obama’s White House.

Joe Manchin and Nick Rahall will continue to support their anti-coal congressional friends.  They believe doing so helps secure their jobs and advances their lifetime political careers.  They seem not to be at all concerned about what it means to coal miner’s jobs.

Senator McConnell hasn’t defended coal either.  The Senator is, more than anything else, a politician.  I recall attempting to convince him, along with other politicians, to fight against anti-coal EPA regulations years ago, only to be told by him that the regulations can’t be stopped.  What McConnell probably thought was that coal’s demise couldn’t be stopped without risking his job.

The federal government, and politicians such as Pelosi, Obama, Rahall, Manchin, McConnell, Reid, and hundreds more aren’t only surrendering coal, they are surrendering America.  Many of these politicians still receive political contributions from coal companies, coal associations and the union, as these organizations seek to maintain political access to these guys.  An access that has been repeatedly proven to be useless.

Business people are often afraid and unwilling to speak out or oppose incumbent politicians.  The National Mining Association, the West Virginia Coal Association, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the West Virginia Business Roundtable try to immediately find compromise every time another anti-coal bill is introduced.  The lifetime coalfield politicians privately advise coal companies not to fight, even as they take the public podium to yell “Fight, fight, fight!” just as they did again this week.

In summary, politicians like Manchin, Rahall, McConnell, and the coal associations, and the UMWA are surrendering their regions coal jobs.  They have been for decades.  If anyone wants proof of that just look at the coal numbers from the regions where these fellas claim to represent the people.  Consider too that coal is going strong in the parts of the world where these guys have no influence.

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