Military Invader of Coal Country?

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This weekend, as President Barack Obama traveled to West Virginia to mourn the deaths of 29 miners in the Massey coal explosion, the mining industry attacked the president with militant right-wing rhetoric. National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich attacked the president as if he were a military invader of coal country. He said, "You’d be hard pressed to find a president whose actions have been more warlike on coal. There are those who say the president has parked his tanks on our front lawn, and it’s hard to dispute that." The National Mining Association — whose directors include Massey Energy’s Don Blankenship — joins a right-wing chorus accusing Obama of “invading” and declaring “war” on Americans, including Newt Gingrich, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), and CNN commentator Erick Erickson.

louisehartmann's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


That's because these crybabies are honked-off that Obama beat them in 2008 as badly as U.S. Grant stomped Robert E. Lee in 1865.

Whimpering is the only weapon they have remaining in their arsenal.

Apr. 9, 2010 1:51 pm

When Obama makes comments like:

"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."
"What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there," Obama said in a Jan. 17 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle

West Virginia is supposed to gleefully welcome him as some hero to the middle class? In addition, the coal industry pays about $70 million in property taxes in the state annually, and the Coal Severance Tax adds about $214 million into West Virginia's economy. The coal industry payroll in the state is nearly $2 billion per year, and coal is responsible for more than $3.5 billion annually in the gross state product.

How many middle class jobs will Obama destroy?

Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

Always the alien, not one of us meme. 'Invader' is offensive, of course. And those poor coal industry tycoons might have to be good citizens. I know that will be very hard for them and require lots of rehab and training. How cruel of Obama.

DRC's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

When Joe Biden makes comments like this:

"In Ohio recently, when Joe Biden said 'not here' about building coal-fired power plants -- this is exactly what will happen," Hamilton said. "Financing won't be directed here. It will all go aboard for plants elsewhere in the world. The United Sates is importing more coal today from Indonesia, South Africa and Colombia than we ever have.

"If we're going to create a situation where coal-fired power plants are at that much of a disadvantage, there will be new ones built. But as Biden said, just not here."

Why would this administration expect a warm welcome from a West Virginia population that
relies on the coal industry for jobs when they promise to destroy it?

If Obama and Biden went to Hawaii and spoke about destroying tourism, how would they be received?

Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

I live in the town where the memorial service was held (with Obama, Biden, and others in attendance). While I could not attend the gathering, I did see it on local TV. Obama made several interesting remarks along the lines of praising the miners for "helping to keep the lights on".

As someone who makes his living in the coal industry, I can assure posters here that WV miners (usually democratic voters) are concerned about Obama's policy towards coal use. For good or bad, WV depends heavily on coal for its tax base and the miners employed in the industry make excellent wages and benefits. I know it helped send me to college and it helped send my own daughter to college.

The bigger issue concerns mountain top removal and the recent actions by the EPA to further regulate water quality issues (although deep mining may also be affected). Coal miners, along with industry managers (like myself), are not against environmental regulations. We enjoy and appreciate clean water, a clean environment, as much as the next person. What we do need is a clearly defined set of standards and rules that will protect the environment while still allowing us to mine coal. And yes, we think that both can be done.

Coalage's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
How many middle class jobs will Obama destroy?

We can always hope that the coal industry is destroyed through efficiency. It's a horrible industry and a horrible product.

jeffbiss's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Slab, should industry get Gov't breaks to be more profitable? Doesn't this interfere with free markets and competition? One of the heavy costs of Coal burning the public bears is pollution. We cannot continue to ignore the public welfare aspect of business as well as the world's limited resources.Personally I would rather pay more for competitively produced clean power if it keeps my family healthier. Clean coal is doable. Here are a couple of links:

maraden's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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