An Estimated 70,000 Jobs Put at Risk by Excessive New Mining Regulations

Yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on an Obama Administration regulation that will cost jobs and make it even harder to utilize America’s most abundant and affordable energy resource. The panel heard from representatives of workers and communities that depend on the coal industry, and whose jobs will be put at risk by the Obama Administration’s excessive regulations. Here’s more:

  • Proposed Regulation Will “Propel Thousands of Coal Miners on the Jobless Rolls.” Roger Horton, West Virginia co-chair of the Mountaintop Mining Coalition, member of the United Mine Workers of America and 30-year veteran of the mining industry: “Unless restrained by this Congress, OSM [Office of Surface Mining] will destroy the economies of state that produce coal and propel thousands of coal miners on the jobless rolls. OSM appears to have advanced these positions without regard to jobs and communities that depend on those occupations for their very survival. … OSM’s proposed rules cast a long shadow of uncertainly over our coal miners and communities by placing our entire economic livelihood in jeopardy.” (Testimony, 9/26/11)
  • “Appalachia Will Lose More Than 20,000 Jobs and Nearly 70,000 Coal Related Jobs Would Also Be Lost Nationwide.”  Mike Carey, President of the Ohio Coal Association: “Rural regions in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee would be economically devastated from losing a major employer such as the coal industry due to the OSM rule. By OSM’s own admission, more than 7,000 jobs in Appalachia would be lost. This is an optimistic, underestimated assessment; we believe Appalachia will lose more than 20,000 jobs and nearly 70,000 coal related jobs would also be lost nationwide. This would mean the unemployment rate rising in these states and a loss of more than $650 million of earnings and state revenue.” (Testimony, 9/26/11)
  • “If Washington Is So Concerned About Creating Good Jobs,” Why “Take Away Those That Already Exist.” Jason Bostick, Vice President of the West Virginia Coal Association: “For our mining families and their communities these mysterious rule changes hang over their heads like an ominous cloud. They worry about their jobs, their children, paying their bills and the fabric of their communities. We are left to ponder why, if Washington is so concerned about creating good jobs, that it seems so determined to take away those that already exist.” (Testimony, 9/26/11)
  • Katharine A. Fredriksen, Senior Vice President, Environmental Strategy & Regulatory Affairs, CONSOL Energy: “The SBZ rule, if promulgated in its current form, would mean the loss of billions of dollars to the economy, and literally thousands of jobs.” (Testimony, 9/26/11)

Promoting American energy production is a key plank of the GOP’s Plan for America’s Job Creators, and the focus of our American Energy Initiative. The House has already passed legislation to streamline energy permitting and address the excessive, burdensome regulations that are threatening jobs and impeding access to America’s resources. The Democratic-led Senate could support this effort by bringing these proposals to a vote without further delay. Learn more at Jobs.GOP.Gov.