Skip to comments.Obama's 'war on coal' likely to give GOP edge in West Virginia
Posted on 04/20/2012 3:23:25 PM PDT by neverdem
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Last week, I was talking about some coal deals, businessman and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese told a packed crowd at the local Holiday Inn Saturday night, and I said lets close the deals before the hammer-and-sickle come down.
The 200-plus guests at the Berkley County Republican dinner here cheered. They knew exactly what Raese was talking about: the Obama administrations assault on the coal industry that is the economic backbone of West Virginia. Almost to a person, Republicans we spoke to here agree that a series of regulations and rulings from the Environmental Protection Agency that are hostile to the coal and natural gas industry will most likely turn the historically Democratic Mountaineer State into a land of opportunity for the GOP in 2012.
With United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts likening EPA head Lisa Jacksons treatment of the coal industry to the Navy Seals taking out Osama bin Laden and hinting the UMW may not endorse President Obama for re-election, it is considered certain that West Virginias five electoral votes will be in the Republican column this fall. In addition, Raesewho lost a close special election to Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in 2010 for the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)is considered even money against Manchin in the race for the full term this fall. Manchin, obviously aware of the desperate political situation he is in, has broken with Obama over the coal issue.
Republican Bill Maloney, narrowly edged out by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the special election to succeed Manchin as governor last year, is in much stronger political shape for their coming rematch in November.
Even in contests where they traditionally have not even placed, West Virginia Republicans find themselves in fighting trim as a result of animosity toward the Obama administration. John Overington, who has served in the state House of Delegates for 28 years, told us he expects the ranks of his fellow Republicans in the House to grow significantly from its current 35 (out of 100) and that recruitment of fresh candidates is outstanding.
And, in large part, whats spurring all of this, explained Overington, is what we refer to as Obamas war on coal.
In a state whose population is about 1.8 million, there are about 40,000 residents working in coal-related jobs. But because the industry is so critical to the state economyand because so many EPA actions have a harsh impact on their energy industry in generalWest Virginians in general feel the effects of the war on coal.
You saw an excellent case in point of the war on coal when the EPA revoked the Spruce No. 1 coal mine expansion, Patrick Morrisey, the likely Republican nominee for attorney general, told us. The EPAs zealous and arbitrary action cost the state countless jobs. Fortunately, the U.S. District Court recently ruled that the EPA had over-reached its authority and overturned the Agencys order. Folks breathed a sigh of relief, but people realize that Obama wont stop until he puts the coal industry out of business. (Morrisey, who also worked on the 26 state effort to overturn Obamacare, has an excellent chance of unseating 20-year Democratic incumbent Daryl McGraw as attorney general.)
Another example of the EPAs hostile approach to West Virginia was offered by Republican State Delegate Gary Howell. Noting that his state has offices in Germany and Japan to promote overseas exports of its goods, Howell said that The EPA is dragging their feet on issuing permits. They are keeping many in a state of perpetual review not denying, but not issuing either. And this is just not confined to overseas orders, either."
There has been some attempt at retaliation toward the EPA from the state. Earlier this year, Howell introduced the Intra-State Coal and Use Act, which designates the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as the final-say agency on permits for coal companies that produce coal for in-state use. Howell told Human Events that EPA actions against our coal industry, which operates solely in the state, are in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which clearly sets out the rights of states.
Whether the Democratic-ruled legislature acts on Howells measure is uncertain. What seems certain is that West Virginia voters will respond to the Obama administration and its war on coal at the polls by voting Republican in a very big way come November.
John Gizzi is Political Editor of HUMAN EVENTS.
I sure hope you're right. Have my doubts.
Yep. Unions run pretty strong there...
Or the oil country...or the gas country...I hope the GOP reminds us about Obama shutting down the Gulf....way beyond what was necessary.
so prove me wrong West Virginia....prove me wrong Iowa....
Anthropogenic global cooling was caused by the protective coal smoke layer, making wide swathes of hot lands habitable.
We’re all gonna drown due to melting glaciers because the fools made us stop using it.
Obama TOLD West Virginny that he was going to shut them down in 2008...and they voted for him anyway.
Did they smarten up? Doubt it.
He promised to bankrupt the coal industry during the last campaign, and the suckers voted for him anyway.
Unionized Hillbilly Morons
Illinois has a lot of coal industry. But, clearly, Obama will carry Illinois in a landslide. Sad, but true.
On the other hand, he will not carry Indiana, nor Kentucky, nor West Virginia. Ohio and Pennsylvania are anyone’s guess at this point.
They hate Republicans more than they love themselves.
With our own eyes we saw a vehicle w a coal bumper stticker right next to Obama 2012. I live here, don’t kid yourself about the union influence. In the end, it’s about the paycheck, um I mean workers safety. What alternative is being offered in the unions place?
WVs are so used to voting straight ticket Dem..( thanks to Sheets,)...but that's gonna change. GOP wins the state house, and this time it will be hard for Manchin to explain why they should vote for him...since his firtst votge will be for Reid as leader...Nope, the jig's up for the Dems in WV
BTW, if you want to see another Dead Man Walking..check out Jay Rockefeller...even money he retires...Shelly Capito is already measuirng the drapes in the ofice, and maybe they can take out that filthy, corrupt POS Rahall for a bonus
It appears that Obama has s#!t in his own nest. Here is an article from ARKANSAS LIVING, APRIL 2012 about how Chesapeake gas gave the SIERRA CLUB $25 million dollars to lobby against coal fired power plants.
Now that fracking is the bad boy, Chesapeake and the Sierra Club have split, but the SC did not give back the $25 million.
ARKANSAS LIVING. A Question of Integrity by Carmie Henry. Page 34
I just found out today from a former co-worker that AEP (SWEPCO) got the SIERRA CLUB to withdraw it’s lawsuits against the new TURK power plant with a promise that AEP would buy 300 MW of WIND generated POWER.
We can hope.
But Democrats/unions have a way of sticking together no matter what.
They voted for McCain by a wide margin in 2008!
I must have them confused with a nearby state. I thought they voted for Obama.
Then there really shouldn’t be anything to worry about.