Opinion

Bluefield paper decries “War on Coal”

Excerpts from an editorial in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

“BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — The looming closure of the Caterpillar mining equipment plant in Pulaski, Va., is another troubling blow to the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. The company announced last week that it will be shutting down its mining equipment plant in Pulaski, laying off 240 workers and moving the mining equipment production to its plant in Houston, Pa. …

“…The Caterpillar announcement is the latest in a series of scheduled coal-industry related plant closures. Appalachian Power’s coal-fired plant at Glen Lyn, Va., in Giles County is still scheduled for closure in 2015, as well one unit of the company’s Clinch River Plant in Russell County, Va.

“…given the current anti-coal environment in Washington, it is likely that the industry will face continued challenges in the months and years ahead.

“Any time good-paying jobs in the coal industry are lost, the region as a whole suffers. Unfortunately, the new federal Environmental Protection Agency rules announced earlier this year by President Barack Obama will essentially prevent the construction of any new coal-fired power plants in our region. Even the Wise County-based Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County, Va., — touted as one of the cleanest coal-fired power stations in the nation — could not be constructed today under the administration’s proposed new rules, according to U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R- Virginia.

“That’s a pretty telling statement of just how far Washington is willing to go when it comes to waging its foolish war on coal.”

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