- Category: Politics
02 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 10:27
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Murray Energy Corporation subsidiary Ohio American Energy Inc. announced that it will be closing its coal mining operations near Brilliant, Ohio, citing United States President Barack Obama’s regulatory actions against coal and coal-fired power plants as the main reason.
This is the second Murray Energy subsidiary this month to announce a downsizing and the company believes that additional downsizings and employees layoffs, not just at Murray Energy but through the entire U.S. coal industry are coming due to Mr. Obama’s “war on coal”.
Earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency proposed that greenhouse gas limits were to be implemented to both new and old coal-fired power plants, with the latter to be supplemented with pollution-control equipment.
Some of the strongest opposition to these regulations comes from the mining sector as well as power plant operators. Many older plants will be forced to shut down as they will be unable to comply with the new regulations while miners fear for their jobs.
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Last Friday, Murray Energy subsidiary, the Ohio Valley Coal Company announced the layoff of twenty-nine employees at their Ohio Valley Powhatan No. 6 Mine.
The OhioAmerican mine employed 239 local people. While Murray Energy has stated that they will be able to eventually employ thirty-two of these OhioAmerican employees at other operations, the job future of most is now uncertain.
The company though is not the first in Ohio to shut down operations. According to a report from New York Post, Akron-based FirstEnergy was the first to shut down, and several others are also set to announce closure soon.
"Mr. Obama has already destroyed 83,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generation in America," said Mr. Michael T. W. Carey, Vice President of Government Affairs for Murray Energy. “Electric prices were bid up 800 percent for 2015-2016 because of this.”
Ohio American General Manager Stanley Piasecki, cited past university studies claiming mines can help create jobs.
“[The studies say] our mines can create up to 11 secondary jobs in our communities, for store clerks, teachers, etc., to serve our direct employees,” Mr. Piasecki said. “[That said], the Obama Administration has destroyed 2,868 jobs in eastern Ohio with this forced mine closure.”
He adds that the mine was meant to last at least one full decade, but now they “have been forced” by the administration for the permanent closure.
Meanwhile the US House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power said workers across the country are “sadly suffering the brunt” of the E.P.A.’s aggressive regulatory agenda. After completing a field hearing with coal miners and plant operators in Virginia, they claim the workers fear they will have the similar fate with OhioAmerican employees.
“Despite 41 consecutive months of higher than 8 percent national unemployment, the E.P.A.’s regulations have the potential to put countless more Americans out of work,” the subcommittee said in their press release. – EcoSeed Staff