POLITICS

As miners lose jobs, Salazar drops coal from ‘all of the above’ energy strategy

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, speaking at the Democratic National Convention yesterday, failed to mention coal in a list that he suggested comprehended the whole of President Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy.

“Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States moves forward with an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Salazar said during his DNC speech. “Oil and gas, nuclear, hydro, biofuels, wind, geothermal, solar, all of it. All of it.”

Salazar’s remarks came one day before 606 coal miners in Virginia were put on furlough because of a mine is now being idled due to “weak market conditions throughout its export markets in Asia, Europe and South America,” according to the company.

The recent closure of a mine in Pennsylvania follows complaints from the president of PBS Coals about “the escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced EPA regulations and interpretations [that] have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry.” Another mining company official accused Obama of “waging a war on coal.”

Earlier this year, EPA New England Regional Administrator Curt Spaulding characterized the administration's official position as something hard to impose on coal towns, summing it up as, “we just think those communities should just go away.”

Obama’s record on coal is so bad, in the eyes of the industry, that The United Mine Workers of America announced last month they will not endorse the president.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee derided Salazar’s DNC speech as  “just the latest attempt by the Obama administration to cloak its war on coal with ‘all-of-the-above’ propaganda.”

 

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