March 25, 2009
Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

Obama Mobilizes EPA Troops for War on Coal

Agency to Kill Jobs, Prevent Access to America’s Cheapest, Most Abundant Energy Resource

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Institute for Energy Research President (IER) Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to place a strict and indefinite moratorium on new mountaintop mining projects—a decision about which Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and others in the Appalachian region are “very concerned.”

“President Obama has made his intentions to bankrupt the coal industry clear. EPA’s actions this week demonstrate that he will wage a war against the energy source that generates half of America’s electricity and is our nation’s most abundant, reliable, and affordable energy resource.

“Even more dismal are estimates that show how this action will affect the 65,000 members of the Appalachian workforce who stand to lose some of the best, highest-paying jobs available in the region. That’s not to mention the $12 billion in lost economic development that an area already wrestling with our current economic downturn will have to reconcile.

“Evidently and regrettably, the president’s plan to redistribute the country’s wealth won’t make anyone any richer; instead it’ll eliminate jobs and increase energy costs until all Americans face equally devastating economic struggles.”

NOTE: The average American miner earns $66,000 each year – nearly 60 percent more than the average wage for industrial jobs. It is unclear whether miners are eager to trade the high-paying jobs they have now, for low-paying, government-sponsored “green jobs” that may or may not exist in the future.

More from IER on domestic energy policy:

IER Analyses: Coal Overview and Coal Facts Sheet

Press Release: Interior Decision Locks Away American Energy Resource Larger than Middle East Reserves

Blog Posting: Obama’s Budget Includes Biggest Tax Increase in U.S. History

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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