While the Obama administration claims to believe in protecting the middle class, its war on energy exploration, development, and production is causing middle-class job losses, particularly in West Virginia, as a Wall Street Journal editorial relays this morning. One would hope that one of Obama’s enablers from the Mountain State would therefore be vulnerable (bolds are mine):
President Obama is campaigning for re-election as a better protector of middle-class jobs than Mitt Romney, and somehow he seems to be getting away with it. Tell that to the miners and others employed in the coal industry, a middle-class job if there ever was one, and the target of relentless regulatory assault over the last four years.
Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources announced last week it is cutting 1,200 positions, as it closes eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The coal industry has been hit by competition from cheap natural gas, but Alpha made clear in its announcement that an equal problem is a Washington “regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” That’s a direct reference to the deluge of Obama Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to force the closure of coal-fired power plants.
Arch Coal announced in June that it would idle operations in Appalachia, cutting 750 full-time jobs—10% of its work force—blaming the “challenging regulatory environment.” PBS Coal and its affiliate, RoxCoal, in July laid off 225 workers in Pennsylvania, citing “uncertainty generated by recently advanced EPA regulations.” Consol Energy at about that time cut 318 jobs in West Virginia.
When Ohio Valley Coal in July announced its own cuts, General Manager Ronald Koontz slammed the Obama Administration for seeking to “destroy” the “jobs of our own employees and the livelihoods of their families.” Mr. Koontz’s pointed comments didn’t get elevation, what with the media deep into the frenzy over ancient and alleged sins of Bain Capital.
The government’s role in these job losses isn’t lost on (West Virginia) Democrat (and U.S. Senator) Joe Manchin …
It The obvious dangers of an Obama presidency to West Virginia jobs was lost on Manchin in 2008, when as his 2012 Senate challenger John Raese notes:
Joe Manchin was tripping over himself to endorse then candidate Barack Obama. Manchin was an early and vocal supporter of Obama four years ago and campaigned extensively for him. Manchin even took the unusual step of parting with West Virginia Democrats at the Democratic Convention and endorsed Obama despite the fact that Hillary Clinton destroyed Obama by 41 points in the primary.
Obama’s job-killing positions on energy in the 2008 were obvious to all with open eyes (“en-year, $150 billion program to produce “climate friendly” energy supplies that he’d pay for with a carbon auction requiring businesses to bid competitively for the right to pollute”).
Raese further notes (bold is mine): “It’s been three days since the West Virginia Democratic Party passed a resolution requiring all elected officials to vigorously endorse President Obama’s re-election campaign and still no word from Sen. Joe Manchin.”
Don’t hold your breath, John. Joe Manchin wants it both ways. Wise West Virginians must stop him.
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