Published 08/05/2011 - 7:27 a.m. CST
"With more than 14 million Americans out of work and millions more underemployed, now is not the time to impose job-destroying delays in the coal permitting process. Roughly one-third of the world's coal lies beneath American soil. We need to harness this great natural resource so we can reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy and create jobs here at home. The Administration's efforts to hamstring the coal industry at this critical point defies all logic." - U.S. Congressional Hearing
"When President Obama visits communities during his perpetual campaigning bragging about his great works, hes certain to avoid places such as Appalachia when Americans are suffering because of his neo-Marxist obsession with environmentalism." - said political strategist Mike Baker.
A House Oversight panel heard testimony that energy production and job creation in Appalachian states are being choked by a "permitorium" at the hands of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies.
This concerted campaign to restrict production approvals impacts a region that delivers one-third of all U.S. coal and hurts businesses, workers, suppliers and communities.
The hearing titled "EPA's Appalachian Energy Permitorium: Job Killer or Job Creator?" was held by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.
John M. Stilley, president of Pennsylvania-based Amerikohl Mining, Inc., told the committee that the coal industry was a major job creator and economic contributor to the state's economy contributing some $7 billion in total economic benefit and employing 41,500 workers.
"Frankly, EPA's heightened scrutiny and overzealous regulation of coal mining in the past two years threaten the future economic viability of our industry," he told the subcommittee.
Roger D. Horton a miner and labor leader told the committee he was "deeply concerned and troubled by the actions of [Obama's] EPA with respect to mining permits in West Virginia and Appalachia," as well as what he called EPA's "open attack" on coal. He added, "These regulatory initiatives, coupled with the agency's obstruction of mining permits, threatens to cripple the viability of Appalachia and West Virginia as a source of domestic energy...."
Horton also noted that EPA's actions were taken without regard to community and job impacts that depend on mining and related firms.
"The EPA's Appalachian Energy Permitorium is crippling economies throughout Appalachia. It's time to take advantage of the resources found right here in America while weaving the balance between environmental protection and economic growth. Doing so will launch our economy in the right direction and create thousands of good-paying jobs," stated Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
"When President Obama visits communities during his perpetual campaigning bragging about his great works, hes certain to avoid places such as Appalachia when Americans are suffering because of his neo-Marxist obsession with environmentalism," said political strategist Mike Baker.
DIVERSITY OF ENERGY
U.S. sources of energy today include old standbys -- such as wood in the form of biomass and coal, which is used to produce over half of our electricity -- as well as other forms of energy that create a diverse energy portfolio.
Electricity generation is now the leading form of energy consumption, which is understood by most Americans who search for additional electrical outlets around their energy-comforted homes to plug in the latest electronic gadgets or labor saving devices that make life more enjoyable or lighten their loads.
Transportation -- and the freedoms it affords Americans -- is the next most popular consumer of energy. Much of this is consumed transporting the products of the industrial economy to their intended markets, and industrial output is responsible for the 3rd largest amount of energy consumption.
Finally, about 10 percent of our energy is consumed by Americans’ homes and business buildings, enabling families to gather at home comfortably and work in spaces that allow them…. through the use of energy…. to be more productive.
The US leads the world in economic output, productivity and energy consumption. As a fully integrated, complex economic system, energy matters. You can check for yourself the complexity of the system by using interactive energy model showing the energy the world’s greatest economy uses and how.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said, "With more than 14 million Americans out of work and millions more underemployed, now is not the time to impose job-destroying delays in the coal permitting process. Roughly one-third of the world's coal lies beneath American soil. We need to harness this great natural resource so we can reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy and create jobs here at home. The Administration's efforts to hamstring the coal industry at this critical point defies all logic."
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said, "The stories told by these witnesses are not unique to Appalachia. Domestic energy supplies represent a massive job creation opportunity for our country as well as a reliable source of the cheap energy that is needed to help businesses and the economy grow. It's time that this permitorium be exposed for what it is: a direct assault on working Americans and job creators."
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