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West Virginia knew what it was doing when it overwhelmingly voted against President Obama in the recent election, they were trying to save their jobs. The number two coal mining state in the country knew that the President’s energy policy has a goal of killing the coal industry. Well not everybody in the state knew. West Virginia Democratic Senator Manchin woke up this morning and realized that the president he helped to elect is anti-Coal.

Manchin exploded over the Obama administration’s anti-coal policies during a senate hearing today. 

We’re getting the living crap beaten out of us, there has been nothing more beat up than coal.

Manchin voiced his frustrations with rules put forward by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency which have made it more costly and difficult for coal plants and coal mines to operate. 

They just beat the living daylights out of little West Virginia, but they sure like what we produce,” Manchin added. “We could do it a lot better if we had a government working with us as a partner. 

Manchin’s remarks were made while questioning Ron Binz, Obama’s nominee to head up the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates electric grids, gas pipelines, natural gas export terminals and hydroelectric power plants.

Hopefully come election time, West Virginia voters will remember that Joe Manchin helped to elect the guy who put them out of business.  Especially when one considers it is about to get much, much, worse.

This week, the EPA is expected to finally release its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), which will set emissions standards not just for the construction of future power plants, but for existing ones also.

Every indication is that these new standards will be another tool in the Obama Administration’s war on Coal.  Initial reports suggest those standards are going to be ludicrously unrealistic that it is going to impose a standard that makes the construction of future coal fired power plants impossible, given the current state of technology

The agency initially proposed that any new power plant emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced but decided to overhaul that rule this spring out of concern that it would face a stiff legal challenge.

The average U.S. natural gas plant emits 800 to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt, and coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds. According to those familiar with the new EPA proposal, the agency will keep the carbon limit for large natural gas plants at 1,000 pounds but relax it slightly for smaller gas plants. The standard for coal plants will be as high as 1,300 or 1,400 pounds per megawatt hour, the individuals said Wednesday, but that still means the utilities will have to capture some of the carbon dioxide they emit.

Joe Manchin may be angry but he is partially to blame for this job-killing energy policy. Especially when one realize he supported Obama despite the fact his energy policies were already killing jobs in his state:
  • The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register: “Obama’s Goal, In Which Top EPA Officials And Liberals In Congress Cooperate Enthusiastically, Is To Wreck The Coal Industry.” “Obama’s goal, in which top EPA officials and liberals in Congress cooperate enthusiastically, is to wreck the coal industry. As we have pointed out, eliminating relatively low-priced electricity generated from coal will put many industries in this region at a competitive disadvantage against those elsewhere. That may well be part of the liberals’ strategy.” (Editorial, “End EPA War Against Coal,”The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register , 1/1/12)
  • JUST TODAY, ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES ANNOUNCED 1,200 LAYOFFS This Morning, Alpha Natural Resources Announced It Is Eliminating 1,200 Jobs, Nearly A Tenth Of Its Work Force. “Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it’s cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha’s 13,000-person work force.” (Vicki Smith, “Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All,” The Associated Press, 9/18/12)
  • “Closing Four Mines In West Virginia, Three In Virginia, And One In Pennsylvania,” Miners Will Be Either Reassigned Or Laid Off Immediately, And Support Positions Will Also Be Cut Proportionally. “Alpha said it is closing four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines. All the mines being closed are non-union operations. Alpha didn’t immediately name the mines because they wanted to inform all the workers first. Though some miners will stay on to seal the operations, most will either be reassigned or laid off immediately. Support positions will also be cut proportionally as Alpha reduces its operating regions from four to two, Crutchfield said, and two executives will retire Nov. 1.” (Vicki Smith, “Alpha Closing 8 Mines, Cutting 1,200 Jobs In All,” The Associated Press, 9/18/12)
  • JUST LAST WEEK, PATRIOT COAL ANNOUNCED 250 LAYOFFS Announced Last Week, Patriot Coal Will Lay Off 250 Employees And Contractors At Three Mines In Central Appalachia. “Patriot Coal Corp., the coal producer that filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, is making additional production cuts at three mines in Central Appalachia and laying off 250 employees and contractors.” (Jeffrey Tomich, “Bankrupt Patriot Coal Cuts More Output, Jobs,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/14/12)
  • Coal Industry And Patriot’s Business Outlook Has Been Impacted By “Challenging Environmental Regulations Affecting The Cost Of Producing And Using Coal.”“Patriot’s business outlook has been impacted by a number of challenges that are affecting the coal industry, including reductions in U.S. thermal coal demand due to competition from low priced natural gas, challenging environmental regulations affecting the cost of producing and using coal, and weaker international and domestic economies.” (Press Release, “Patriot Coal Files For Chapter 11 Reorganization To Improve The Company’s Long-Term Prospects,”Patriot Coal, 7/9/12)
What? Did Sen. Manchin really think that Obama was promising to destroy his state’s key industry just to get votes? And that he would change his mind after five years in office?

 The Truth is that Joe Manchin is a political hack who supported Barack Obama even though he knew the President’s position on coal. Now that he has helped to elect a man who promised to kill the coal industry he is pivoting?

Congratulations Joe. You have served your state well!

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