In response to President Obama's catastrophic overhaul of coal mining regulations throughout the nation, the House of Representatives voted to stand in support of the thousands of men and women who provide reliable, affordable and abundant energy for citizens nationwide. HR 3409, Stop the War on Coal, introduced by U.S. Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH), prohibits the Secretary of the interior from issuing regulations under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act that will adversely affect the production of coal, the delivery of coal to customers worldwide, and the employment offered by the coal industry. In addition, the legislation compiles into one package several bills already passed by the House and stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate that would halt the onslaught of regulations intended to severely curtail the use of coal for electricity in the United States.
Its passage comes the same week Alpha Natural Resources announced layoffs and mine closures in the wake of tighter regulations from the Obama Administration. The announcement means less coal production in Wyoming, and could lead to layoffs in the Powder River Basin. Coal supplies 42% of the nation's energy, but the Obama Administration is actively working to reduce that percentage with no credible plan to replace the electricity generation lost. The result is increased energy costs, and a less reliable base load of electricity, nationwide. Since Wyoming produces about 40% of all the coal used in the U.S., these regulations are particularly troubling for Wyoming's hard-working coal mining families. Current estimates approximate that United States coal reserves are large enough to power America for the next 485 years at current rates of consumption.
U.S. Congressman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo), representing the largest coal producing state in the nation, issued the following statement after the bill's passage:
"There is a clear anti-coal agenda in the President's so called "all-of-the-above' energy plan. In casting coal aside, this Administration is casting aside domestic energy security, high-paying jobs, and affordable abundant energy. President Obama has turned a blind eye to the real-life consequences of these actions in Wyoming and across the nation. We cannot sacrifice the jobs or energy supply these regulations take away, period. It's time the Administration takes the choke hold off America's most abundant energy supply and lives up to their promise of domestic energy security and job creation."