WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., invited two Logan County coal miners to testify before Congress today about the impact of the Obama administration’s regulations on their jobs.
Jordan Bridges of Logan and Douglas Killen II of Chapmanville testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Bridges is a heavy equipment operator at an Arch Coal mine in Holden. Killen is a blaster at a Patriot Coal mine near Madison.
“The EPA, to me, has no regard for the consequences of its own regulations and the effects that has on the economy. There are thousands of people who have lost their jobs, and there are no other jobs in our area to fill the need. I mean, there’s people laid off and there’s no other jobs for them to get. These are hardworking people, we’re losing their homes, losing the ability to provide for our families, and it’s our livelihood,” Bridges said.
Killen said he’s watched his family members move out of state to find work and his friends’ businesses suffer as mines have closed.
“The EPA has always downplayed their impact their actions have on jobs but if they’d come to West Virginia, they’d see just how much we’re suffering due to their actions. … We’re coal miners, and that’s something that we want to do. Now with all of the cutbacks and the closing at the mines, we’re forced to take lower-paying jobs or worse sign up on government assistance or move out of West Virginia,” Killen said.
Rep. Jenkins pledged to continue to bring West Virginians’ views and voices to the attention of Congress and the administration to show the impact decisions in Washington have on West Virginians and their livelihoods.
“As you know, Mr. Chairman, a couple of weeks ago I challenged Secretary McCarthy come to West Virginia. Come to West Virginia and hear from West Virginians. And she can’t bring herself, candidly, to say yes. Well, it was important as you’ve provide this opportunity that we brought West Virginia voices to Washington to have their voices heard before this important committee that is going to have an impact on the purse strings and, I’ll say it, a war on coal,” the congressman said.