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.
Va went for Zero by a narrow margin as did NC.
West Virginia voted for McCain in 2008. What killed the GOP was the GOP, the idea that they need to pander on the issue of illegals to appease all those "natural conservatives" who's "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande." Hispandering, GOP went for it big time in 2008 and look where it got them? In order to pander to a hostile voting block they work to make the hostile voting bloc much larger in the future. Sort of like letting the 9-11 hijackers take over planes with box cutters, where perhaps a few people would have been killed or injured, and allowing them to have control of the airplanes so they can kill thousands instead.
Sure do. WVA voted for McCain by a 13% margin.
Man, I hope that sign hasn’t been photoshopped! I know exactly where that is!
WV is so ingrained Democrat and union. That’s why so many people leave the state and no industry will come in. They don’t get it, don’t want to get it. They really wanted Hillary, but voted for Obama even tho’ he said he would shut down coal. I have no more sympathy for my home state.
WVa voted for McCain by a 13% margin. Where do you guys get this sh*t anyway?
I don't know about that specific sign, but the reason I know about it is that I drove through West Virginia last week and saw a sign just like it.
Not gonna happen. They’ll be placated with more government handouts.
They had better not be. Has someone read Obamacare and determined whether or not they can exclude coverage for workers in certain “bad” industries like coal mining...”for the cost saving good of the State?” Just asking...
CSAPR, MATS, and the proposed CO2 regs make new coal projects impossible. Financing is unavailable since vendor will not guarentee performance numbers for new units. That is a result of testing methods not being able to accurately detect the levels required, and the fact that those limits have to be met almost always - no deviations.
For the proposed CO2 NSPS, coal requires CCS. CCS is not even commericially available. The bench test tehs are drawing 25% parasitic load. Buld a 400 MW plant, get only 300 MW out (less other parasitic loads).
Coal is dead if Obama has a second term. I don't trust unions, coal or not, to step up to the plate. I am afraid they will slit their own necks with an Obama vote. I hope I am wrong, but not an optomist tonight...
Check yer facts before shootin' off yer mouth. WV was red in 2000, 2004 and 2008. It did NOT vote for Zer0. The big problem with the GOP in WV is the corrupt WV GOP itself!
“there are some areas that could care less what happens, they are going to vote for the crooked messiah no matter what.....
so prove me wrong West Virginia...”
If I recall correctly, West Virginia went to McCain in 2008....
C'mon, hat! I always thought you were a better man than that. Why go off half-cocked on the basis of what some idiot GOP apparatchik FReeper says?
Because, as I explained in a further post, I thought they did go for Obama. Just didn’t check the facts before posting.
Sorry West Virginia
If we can’t win W.V. then I will cease to pay attention to politics.
Democratic pollster, Doug Schoen, said tonight on Hannity that the Obama team had “written off” West Virginia.
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