Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) addressed the annual fall meeting of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
In his speech, Rep. McKinley pointed to the Obama Administration's war on coal as the reason for thousands of recent layoffs and hundreds of coal-fired plant closings in the coming years in West Virginia and around the country.
"The President and top administration officials, along with environmentalists, insist the time for coal is over," said Rep. McKinley. "As hard working miners and their families continue to keep our country's lights on, we all know that is not true. That's why it's important to let this President and his Administration know that coal is here to stay and for coal miners to realize they have a voice too."
"Coal miners are the reason why I fight each day for the coal industry," said Rep. McKinley. "They represent the human side of the equation. Miners are not simply numbers and statistics; they are our brothers, parents, grandparents and uncles. They may sit in front of you in church and stand behind you in the check-out line of the stores. Their economic future is tied to our success in Washington."
McKinley noted that for the first time in American history, there are no coal-fired power plants currently on the drawing boards, due to excessive regulations and overreach imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. "This is not just a war on coal; it's a war on our economy and our communities," said Rep. McKinley.
"Whenever a coal mine shuts down, an entire community and its residents are severely impacted and suffer for years to come." "With 23 million people unemployed or underemployed, we need to take a new direction and fight for the future of our coal industry," added McKinley.