“Dozens of coal miners packed” a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power field hearing in Abingdon, VA yesterday, including Stephen Boggs, a local coal miner “worried the new regulations” coming from the Obama administration “could force him out of a job,” WCYB News 5 reports. “I’m 19 years old with a long time ahead of me. If it caves, my whole future is up on the air,” said Boggs.  Boggs’ fears were echoed by several witnesses at yesterday’s hearing that warned that the administration’s onslaught of excessive energy regulations is putting jobs and local economies at risk.  Here’s more:

  • Donna Kessinger, a single mom and Virginia coal miner, said the coal mining jobs in her community “allow us to put food on the table, buy clothes for our children,” “provide our families with good health care,” and support “local businesses, which are the heartbeat that keep many small towns alive.” However, Kessinger is fearful that her job is “under attack” by the “decisions of federal regulators…blind to the real-world economic consequences of their actions.”  As Kessinger put it, “we are not asking for special treatment or a handout. We simply want to be allowed to work.”
  • Dan Nation, Division President at Parkdale Mills, the world’s largest spun yarn manufacturer, warned that the Obama administration’s excessive regulations on energy plants “will increase energy cost for manufacturing to the point of job destruction in the U.S.” “If we have to turn lights off to conserve energy, we turn them all off, close factories and people start losing jobs,” said Nation. “These jobs then end up overseas and we never get them back. Putting higher energy costs on the back of manufacturing is one of the fastest ways I know of to kill more U.S. jobs.”
  • “President Obama allegedly supports an ‘all of the above’ energy policy as he stated in his address to the American people in January,” said Joe Gary Street, Vice President of Sales for West River Conveyors & Machinery Co, “however, fossil fuels were left out of that policy.”  According to Street, layoffs that have already resulted from energy plant closures have his employees “worried about their jobs and how they will pay their bills and mortgages,” and “the continued war on coal makes the lay-offs the tip of the iceberg for the impact these regulations will begin to have on our communities.”  Street asked, “As a business owner, how do you explain to your employees why they are losing their job? Do you tell them it is because we have a government who forgot about the people of Appalachia and their livelihood?”

Much of yesterday’s hearing focused on the Obama administration’s proposed rule that would impose a de facto ban on the construction of new coal-fired power plants, the latest move in the Obama administration’s anti-coal agenda that is shutting down plants, raising electricity costs and destroying jobs. The House-passed Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act (H.R. 2401) would put a stop to the new rule and require a study of the cumulative impacts of several Obama administration regulations on jobs, energy prices, and electric reliability. 

The TRAIN Act is one of many bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills – passed as part of the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators and the American Energy Initiative - aimed at curbing the Obama administration’s excessive regulations that are holding back private-sector growth and job creation. Unfortunately for the witnesses at yesterday’s hearing – and all American families and small businesses – Senate Democrats refuse to take action on these bills, allowing the administration to put even more jobs at risk while wages are stagnant and jobs are hard to come by

The House will continue taking action next week on several bills that will help put the brakes on the Obama administration’s barrage of new rules and regulations.  It is up to Senate Democrats to act on these bills, and the more than 30 others they are blocking, to help put Americans back to work.  Learn more about the Republican jobs plan at jobs.gop.gov and follow the progress of the House-passed energy bills stalled in the Democratic-led Senate by “liking” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook.