Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Co-Founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus, released the following statement in response to Alpha Natural Resources' announcement that it will close eight mines and lay off 1,200 workers companywide:
"The Obama Administration's War on Coal has already claimed over 2,000 jobs in West Virginia, and now we've learned that Alpha Natural Resources will close eight mines and lay off 1,200 workers companywide. Because of the President's War on Coal, thousands of West Virginia families have to worry about where their next paycheck is going to come from. West Virginians love the Mountain state. We want to stay here and raise families, but the President's extreme policies are cripplingly entire towns and making it harder for workers to find jobs. My office stands ready to help displaced workers in any way we can.
"There is no question that a number of contributing factors, such as the decline in the price of natural gas, lead to mine closures, and there is also no question that the EPA's extreme rules and regulations played a major role.
This week the House of Representatives will vote on the "Stop the War on Coal Act" (H.R. 3409) which includes Capito's language to mandate that the EPA consider the impact on jobs and the economy when issuing new rules and regulations.
"Americans want a balanced, all-of-the-above energy policy that includes coal, natural gas, oil and renewables. Unfortunately, the Administration and the EPA are only focused on short-term political goals, even if it means laying off thousands of workers when we've had 8% unemployment for 43 consecutive months. House Republicans will not stop pressuring the Senate and the President to stop this war on America's natural resources."
SITTING IN THE SENATE:Capito is an original cosponsor of the TRAIN Act (The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts to the Nation) which would require an interagency committee to analyze the cumulative economic impacts of certain environmental regulations in an effort to better understand how these policies affect American manufacturing, global competitiveness, energy prices and jobs. The TRAIN Act would also delay the final date for both the Utility MACT and CSAPR rules until the interagency committee finishes its work. The TRAIN Act passed the House and is awaiting consideration in the U.S. Senate.