50 members of Kentucky’s House of Representatives petitioned President Obama this week to reconsider his executive orders which continue his war on coal through unilateral carbon regulations. This is what they had to say:
In Kentucky, coal is not just an energy source, it’s a way of life. The economic contribution of the coal mining industry to Kentucky in 2010 was $10 billion, 42,078 jobs, and $2.85 billion in earnings. For every 100 jobs in coal mining in Kentucky, there are an additional 120 full- and part-time jobs in other industries within the state that supply goods or services to support the coal industry and its employees. Unfortunately, employment at Kentucky coal mines has decreased from more than 19,000 to nearly 14,000 in just the past few years.
When these jobs are all but gone, can you tell us how we are supposed to replace them and the more than $1 billion in lost earnings? Job opportunities are already scarce in most of our mining communities. Our state also relies on coal-severance tax receipts, which totaled approximately $230 million in fiscal year 2013. Where will we get the support to offset the loss of those dollars? And the companies that choose to base their business in the Commonwealth because it has some of the lowest energy rates in the nation: How are we going to be able to attract and retain those businesses and jobs?
Before your administration begins a new round of regulations, we urge you to take another look at what role coal can and should play in the years ahead. We should not ignore its continued potential, nor should we ignore those whose livelihood depends on it. As we always say, those who believe we can live without coal could find that they are the ones who are literally in the dark.