Today, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) joined thousands of coal miners and energy leaders for the "Rally for American Energy Jobs" on Capitol Hill. Along with Rogers, Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock attended the rally and later testified at a U.S. Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Regulatory Threat to Affordable, Reliable Energy, with a focus on coal communities.
"After five years, we know the President is trying to make good on one promise he made - his promise to bankrupt coal!" declared Rogers at the Rally for American Energy Jobs. "These new EPA regulations promise to not only continue dreadful layoffs at our mines, but in our power plants too. This administration needs to realize that coal keeps America running."
Several members of Kentucky's Congressional delegation spoke at the rally including U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, and U.S. Representative Andy Barr.
Following the rally, the House Energy Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing to investigate the impact of EPA rules on the coal-reliant communities and industries. Judge Executive Albey Brock was the first of seven witnesses to testify.
"I cannot imagine that the EPA calculated the human impact of their decisions that have so negatively impacted the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky, put thousands of families at risk, and threatened decades of progress," said Brock. "But if they did, they callously disregarded that calculation and violated the most basic, moral imperative of our government, which is to protect its people."
Rogers applauded Brock's efforts on Capitol Hill to speak out for the families and communities in Central Appalachia that have been devastated by the Obama administration's War on Coal.
"We need more leaders like Judge Executive Brock to stand firm and demand that this Administration stem the tide of unemployment and poverty resulting from the loss of thousands of jobs and upwards of more than one billion dollars in earned wages in our region's economy," said Rogers.
Earlier this month, Rogers cosponsored a house resolution requesting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hold its public listening sessions on a forthcoming carbon dioxide rule in leading coal states. The proposed rule will significantly impact existing power plant emissions. The resolution requests the sessions to be held in each of the ten states with the highest percentage of electricity generated by coal in 2012. Those states include Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming.