Later today, the U.S. Senate will almost certainly vote to approve a resolution to block a last-minute Obama administration rule aimed at replacing the long-controversial stream “buffer zone” rule. The House passed the resolution yesterday afternoon. Once that resolution makes its way to the White House, President Trump will sign it.
Presumably, it won’t take long after that before all of the coal miners in West Virginia who have lost their jobs over the last few years will get called back to work.
Well, at least that is what coalfield political leaders, industry officials — and now the most powerful man on the planet — would have residents of places like Boone and Logan counties in West Virginia believe.
Here’s Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., during yesterday’s House floor debate on the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement rule:
Simply put, it was President Obama’s attempt to drive a final nail into the coffin of an industry that made America great. Look, enough is enough. This war on coal has to come to a stop, and I think this election set the tone for that. Now that we finally have a President who understands the painful impact of excessive and unnecessary regulations,
It is time to give the families of the coalfields all across America a chance to get relief from the unelected bureaucrats in Washington.
Here’s Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., during that same floor debate:
Stopping this rule matters to West Virginians, to our miners, to our families, to our consumers. We produce 95 percent of our electricity from coal. It is reliable and it is affordable … My State can’t afford to lose any more jobs, and I know that goes for other coal States.
It fell to Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, to bring some reality into the discussion:
… If there is a war on coal, it is being led by the natural gas industry who produces a cheaper product at a lower cost. And if there is any trouble that coal is in, it is directly attributed to the free market and that competition.