Labor union leader: Obama’s war on coal is a “war on jobs”


Not only are labor union leaders revolting against President Barack Obama over his ill-conceived healthcare law, they’re also pushing back over environmental regulations against coal plants.

In a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Raymond Ventrone, business manager of Boilermakers Local 154, slammed the Environmental Protection Agency’s “anti-coal agenda and noted that the new regulations are hurting the workers that he represents.

“Just three years ago, hundreds of construction workers and boilermakers from Local 154 installed state-of-the-art pollution control equipment on a 1,700 megawatt coal-fired power plant,” wrote Ventrone, who represents 2,000 workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. “More than $500 million was invested in this plant, proving that coal and clean air were not mutually exclusive.”

“Now, those breakthrough technological upgrades — approved by the Environmental Protection Agency only three years ago — have been deemed insufficient by the very same agency by virtue of new regulations created without a vote in Congress or input from the public,” he explained, adding that the anti-coal regulations have forced two Western Pennsylvania coal plants out of business.

Ventrone sees the anti-coal regulations as an attack on his members way of life, noting that they’ve been maligned as they earn an honest living. He also pointed out that environmental gains have been made even as coal usage increased substantially.

“The skeptics in this debate are those who ignore that coal is used cleanly. The deniers are those who won’t acknowledge the true ‘social cost’ of the EPA’s anti-coal agenda: the 400 southwestern Pennsylvania families who are losing their paychecks,” added Ventrone. “We can have clean air and keep coal as a vital part of our economy, but we can’t do it if the EPA and its allies are allowed to continue waging a devastating war against our jobs.”

President Obama laid out the latest in his anti-consumer, anti-coal environmental agenda during a speech at Georgetown University in June. More than 400 coal-fired plants are expected to close over the next 10 years.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that President Obama’s plan to eliminate coal plants with cost 500,000 jobs and increase electricity prices by 20%. These regulations will have next to no impact on climate change.

H/T: Ashe Schow

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