Coal is the cheapest, most reliable source of energy on the planet. Right now, Ohio gets over 70% of its energy from coal-fired power plants, and America gets nearly 50% of its power from coal nationwide. There is no doubt in my mind that the coal industry is not only critical to fulfilling America’s residential and infrastructure energy needs, but critical to powering businesses and putting Americans back to work. According to the National Mining Association, the U.S. coal mining industry directly employs 136,000 people nationwide, and for each mining job, 3.5 support jobs are created. These are well paying jobs in an industry that powers America. But, unfortunately President Obama and his activist administration have waged war on the coal industry and the jobs that go with it. Not only is President Obama’s war on coal costing direct coal jobs in Ohio, but it is causing electricity prices to surge. According to a USA Today study, American families are already paying $300 more per year in electricity prices since President Obama took office.
The Obama administration’s war on coal production is evident with its proposed rewrite of the Stream Buffer Zone rule. If the rewrite of this rule becomes law, tens of thousands of thousands of coal jobs and support jobs could be lost. Also, if this proposed rule goes into effect, we would see coal production drop by 50%, causing the price of electricity to surge even more than it already has.
Rest assured, I am using my position on the Energy and Commerce Committee to work hard to stop the Obama administration’s war on coal and the jobs that go with it. In fact, I have authored legislation that would stop the proposed rewrite of this rule from going into effect.
Coal is a vital part of an “all of the above” approach to energy production. In fact, there is enough coal to fuel America's energy needs for generations to come. There is a place for all energy sources to be developed and used to power America, including coal. I will always fight for the coal industry because America needs the jobs and the cost effective, reliable power it provides.