Crisis in coal country
West Virginia residents face unemployment, jobs crisis
- Duration 9:01
- Date Aug 15, 2012
West Virginia residents face unemployment, jobs crisis
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And our final look tonight at some of the president's costly is broken promises we examine the impact of the Obama presidency and what it has had on the coal mining industry -- candidate Obama he promised clean coal initiatives.
That's not what the people -- West Virginia got.
Let's take a look.
I'm in Boone county West Virginia this is the gateway.
Two of the coal fields generations of families here had made their living by what comes out of these hills.
These coal miners are proud people.
They're well educated their high tech long gone are the days of the shovels and picks.
But their very way of life is now under attack the Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down coal mines are closing.
The unemployment rate more than 12%.
And many people here believe President Obama has declared an all out war on the nation's coal industry.
While many men and women here in Boone county worked directly with -- It's estimated that for every one person in the field there are six workers whose jobs support the industry.
Cole is such an integral part of -- -- that it's been the home of the West Virginia coal questionable for the past nineteen years.
You'd be hard pressed to find a Republican and county.
This region's been a democratic stronghold for generations.
And it was no surprise when voters here backed Barack Obama in the 2008 election.
Thanks in part to his promise to support the industry and clean coal.
Clean coal technology -- consult them back and make America energy independent.
This is America we figured out how to put a man on the moon in ten years you can't tell you we can't figure out how to -- poll.
Mine right here in the United States of America make -- look.
But folks around Boone county quickly discovered that while candidate Obama talked the talk he did not walk the walk.
The president showed his true colors claiming he would bankrupt anyone attempting to build new coal power plants.
By the 2010 mid term elections the Obama administration's war on COLT was well under way.
Many of the president's supporters -- just -- blaming him for overbearing regulations imposed on the coal industry.
And some Democrats found themselves campaigning for reelection on platforms and took him at odds with the president's EPA policies.
Former West Virginia governor and senate candidate Joseph Manchin was elected it is not so subtle message to team Obama and their -- policies.
I'll take on Washington and this administration get the federal government off our backs and out of our -- not -- EPA and I'll take dead game.
At the cap and trade bill.
Because it's bad for West Virginia.
And two years later the hurt and anger was so profound.
That Boone county Democrats voted for a -- Named chief John rather than President Obama.
The people were tired of the EPA shutting down mines and plants attacking their way of life.
But the impact of Obama's war on cold resonated far past the Boone county line.
That's because every time coal production decreased from your electric bills and increased.
The American coalition for clean coal energy is dedicated to educating the public.
About the vast improvements that -- community has undertaken plus -- importance to the nation.
While exposing the blind died the EPA turns on industry improved.
Meant CPA is ignoring the progress that has been made and continues to be made by the coal based electricity industry to this country has understood very well for the last twenty years what pain at the pump means the thirty PA regime -- regulations here.
Are going to let people know what pain -- the plug means you cannot fire the cash register -- running a small business you can only fire the person that's behind it.
So -- your cost rise you have to pass that on to somebody.
And that's where the affects some Obama's war on coal are most evident on main street here in Madison.
For the shopkeeper struggled to survive and they know that the only way to keep their cash registers fault is -- the coal mines remain open.
All the business owners I'm talking to his the running scared coal mine is what kept West Virginia on the top percentage of states it really do good.
But now you know.
We don't know what -- Our coal miners don't you know and but I don't -- handout they -- permit to work.
You wouldn't believe when you -- it all up in the -- time element they will really lose your job that coal -- that coal -- just back within.
The last four months -- unemployment shot from seven.
Can be any energy superpower we are an energy superpower.
The government will allow us to use that energy and I'm sorry we're going be a third rate nation.
It's is clean burning as you can get right.
In in America but we're not gonna burn -- in America we're gonna ship it overseas.
They're gonna burn it like we did back in the twenty's with a bunch of sulfuric gas and everything else going up and it's.
If this got in -- to do was slightly more awful.
Okay but some -- we do we've got to do now it's a great expanse.
You know and you gotta be profitable when you can't get a permit.
And when they start changing the rules in midstream.
When you have a permit and they Vito the permit taking away the -- and attack.
And so that impacts this area very much we need to -- -- to continue I would like to see this become a ghost town.
The EPA tried to destroy the way of life here in Boone county but they did not destroy the spirit.
Life here will go -- and that people will persevere.
But what happened here at the gateway to the coal fields should serve as a stark warning to the rest of the nation.
Because of President Obama can declare war on this community.
Might be next.
And joining me now are West Virginia congresswoman Shelley Moore -- Patel and Fox News radio's -- -- -- great report by the way Todd thank you.
In his report he's talking about generations of coal miners.
He's talking about a way of life under attack how people feel 12% unemployment and using the term all out war.
Is that what it is is the administration or -- -- a war on America's energy and it's a war on -- And these are communities that are a blessed with a natural resource that want to live and work in a community that they love where their families are from.
And -- -- to leave I mean just in the last month.
At least a thousand laid off coal miners those -- families how many years it in terms of -- independence we have.
If we would have tapped for resources in the -- well I think there's estimates that 250 years -- -- the teams yes and it's clean it was in other words this is clean burning coal we we have the ability.
We have the ability we can do better at that I mean I think when there's more technology and research but not if you don't fund the technology -- research not a can move forward.
I had experimentation in my district on -- sequestration.
They had to pull the plug on it because the dollars went there -- it was it's not economically feasible so we've got to move forward on this I mean I think it's the detrimental to.
And -- out watching a report closely Todd and what do the people on the ground in West Virginia saying.
You know Joseph -- has to run almost like a conservative should the government commercial.
And say is against cap and trade.
To even have a chance a getting elected but any votes with the Democrats on you know raising taxes on quote so the wealthy business owners in the country.
What are they telling you on the ground about President Obama.
They're upset and look these are not close minded people were talking about.
That this was a community that that voted for President Obama they believed the hope and the change that that he promised.
And and that never came.
The numbers speak for themselves the unemployment rate in Boone county was 4%.
And the cold hard reality is that these policies this war that he's declared on their way of living is taken food off the table.
People are having to go somewhere else stood -- to find work to raise their families and and and people are very very concerned about what's going to happen -- -- mr.
Blankenship is one of the bigger coal miners going back a few years and I gave -- speech with him.
I mean he just he described it as an all out war -- -- and I got all these guys I want to keep -- -- I can't do.
Now and they're closing up shop they can't get the permits.
They can't burn -- we've had I'll call our power plants closed down and our whole region.
And another thing that the president's picking winners and losers in this country when he does this yet but -- is the heart.
Ancillary as the winner big bundle that -- you know green energy a winners Finland's a winner Brazil's winner -- -- crazy.
The deceive both to have him report for us thank you.
And coming up with a wrap things up -- -- studio audience and much more thank you for being with us on the special edition of Hannity.