Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) today released the following statement in advance of President Obama's State of the Union address, in which the President is expected to focus on jobs and the economy:
"Here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, coal is our business. Coal doesn't just mean jobs for miners and utility workers; it's the railroaders, truck drivers and barge operators who ship coal to the mills and plants. It's the workers who make the conveyor belts, respirator masks, machines, bulldozers, and steel. It's the factory workers and families dependent on affordable electricity. It's the cornerstone to our economy.
"Four years ago, President Obama stood before Congress promising to advance clean coal. Since then, hundreds of mines have been idled or closed because the Administration's "War on Coal" resulted in countless regulations on mining, transportation, and use of coal as an energy source. The impact on our coal economy has been devastating--3,600 direct jobs were lost last year alone. With millions still out of work and energy prices on the rise, it's time the President's actions matched his rhetoric. Stop the "War on Coal."
"Our national economy, and even more so, our Southwestern Pennsylvania economy, can't afford the shutdown of coal. If the President is serious about creating jobs, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and easing the financial strain felt by families and small manufacturers across the country, I urge him to stay true to his word and keep coal a vital part of our economy for energy and jobs."