OHIO UNIVERSITY Eastern played host to a hearing that focused on the future of the Ohio Valley. The subject matter was coal, and the negative impact the Environmental Protection Agency and President Obama have delivered on that industry.
State Rep. Mike Dovilla hosted the hearing. It brought together many coal heavyweights. The session shed light on how hard Ohio has been hit by governmental regulations.
No state has incurred more coal-industry damage than the Buckeye State. Dozens of Ohio coal-burning facilities have been forced out of business in recent years. Several hundred have met the same fate throughout the nation.
Much of the demise is directly attributed to the suffocating restrictions imposed by the EPA, supported by Obama's "War on Coal." That is why public forums, such as the one at OUE Monday, are so vital. A large and united front can only help draw the spotlight to coal's plight, hopefully igniting a positive response.
The loss of well-paying jobs that coal provides is a painful pill to swallow. It is made even more bitter when realizing that less coal means much higher electricity rates.
Bob Murray of Murray Energy champions coal as passionate as anyone. He took center stage Monday.
"Frankly, the EPA's enacted, proposed, and yet-to-be proposed regulations regarding the permitting, mining, and utilization of coal have already caused, and will continue to cause, catastrophic economic consequences for our state and our nation," Murray said. "The proposals of Mr. Obama's US EPA, alone, were estimated to destroy 2.15 million American jobs and result in $200 billion in electricity rate increases, all by 2020, before his campaign to place so-called "climate change" controls on so-called "greenhouse gas" emissions from electric power plants, which he announced weeks ago," Murray said.
Such numbers are staggering.
We commend Murray, Rep. Dovilla and all the other coal hard-liners who descended upon Eastern Ohio to cultivate support for the coal.
Industry officials and supporters need to continue their passionate pleas with the hope that they will reach friendly political ears, reversing coal's downward spiral.
Coal is a non-brainer solution to many of our nation's problems. Unfortunately, Obama and the EPA do not have the sense to realize that.