U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement about layoffs announced today at Alpha Natural Resources mines in West Virginia and other states.
"First, my heart goes out to the miners who lost their jobs and the families that depended on those jobs, and to all the Americans who will pay higher energy prices because this country lacks an energy policy that fully uses all of our domestic resources to benefit our great country.
"Companies like Alpha have ridden ups and downs of the market for many years -- but they can't be expected to fight their own government, too. The difference between those times and now is that companies didn't have to deal with the overreaching of an EPA that makes it impossible to build any certainty into the future.
"Especially at a time when our economy is so fragile and good-paying jobs are hard to come by, it's clear that our federal government needs to start working with us and not against us. There's a balance to be found between the environment and the economy and the EPA has worked very hard to avoid finding that balance.
"As Senator, I will continue to work hard with members of both political parties to reverse the EPA decisions that are jeopardizing not only our coal industry, but our way of life. One of my highest priorities is to get this Congress to rein in the out-of-control EPA. I'm encouraged that we're winning this battle in court, especially our recent victory in the lawsuit that I filed as Governor. I'm also going to fight to make sure that we have an energy policy that works and uses all our domestic resources for the benefit of this country. That's the only thing that makes sense to me and the people of West Virginia -- and that's the only way we can keep hardworking miners on the job."