Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundgren Grimes, a possible challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell, has gone quiet over Obama’s June 26 remarks, which put coal in the crosshairs. The “War on Coal” has been under reported. Tens of thousands of Americans still rely on coal mining to support their families. In local newspapers, like the Williamson Daily News, which covers Kentucky and West Virginia, staff writer Julia Roberts Goad wrote in October of 2012 about how United for Coal has declared that “our government has decided to commit ‘Regional Genocide’ against our people [with this regulatory onslaught].” Bill Raney, also with the Williamson Daily News, wrote three years ago that:
The EPA has declared a war on Appalachian coal. The agency’s apparent intent to rescind the already issued Spruce Mine permit is the first time such an action has been taken and shows a reckless disregard for the impact on our people, on future investment in our region and even basic fairness. If EPA pursues this course, the very future of mining in our state and region… not just mountaintop mining operations or even surface mining … but all forms of mining is threatened, and with it the futures of 50,000 West Virginian and 80,000 Appalachian families whose livelihoods depend on mining coal.
The EPA issued the Spruce Mine permit almost three years ago. During a 10-year review prior to its issuance, the EPA participated along with the other agencies every step of the way during the review and praised the company’s efforts to design the project in such a way as to minimize the impact on the environment. In fact, total recoverable reserves of coal were reduced by 10.6 million tons as a result. It is not an exaggeration to say this permit is the most scrutinized mining permit in the history of West Virginia or the Appalachian region. But the issue goes far beyond a single permit. If EPA revokes the Spruce permit, their action brings into question all forms of economic development across the region – anything that requires a company or an individual to move a shovelful of dirt.
Last October, I attended a FreedomWorks press conference about Obama’s “War on Coal” in Harrisburg. I met Carol Vogel, a Greene County resident, who said that her electrical costs were about to increase in her area five-fold by 2015.
The “EPA regulations are killing us…they’ve shut down 100 out of the 500 coal plants and are slated to shut down 200 more – that’s 3/5 of all the plants closed…[this will] hit everyone’s pocket book – [social] class doesn’t matter.”
Brook Hougesen, NRSC Press Secretary, wrote on June 27 that:
This extreme agenda will destroy jobs in Kentucky, raise costs for middle class families, and drown small businesses with red tape and regulation. It empowers the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency – who have little to no clue about the struggles folks in Kentucky face.
A look at Grimes’ past reveals an Obama Loyalist who has always embraced his radical agenda. Even when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attacked the coal industry – which provides 93% of the electricity production in Kentucky (not to mention Kentucky coal mining employed 20% of the coal jobs in the entire U.S. in 2011), Grimes remained unfazed. Instead, she keeps working with Harry Reid to plot his next move.
Over the last five years President Obama and Washington Democrats like Harry Reid have made no secret about their “War on Coal.” Alison Lundergan Grimes responded by working hard to elect President Obama and his radical agenda. Should she run for Senate, her vote would empower a leader who once declared “Coal makes us sick.”
Grimes worked hard to empower Democrats who’ve declared a ‘War on Coal’ that will destroy jobs in Kentucky, raise costs for middle class families, and drown small businesses with red tape and headaches. Senator Mitch McConnell is a tireless advocate for the Bluegrass State, a tremendously effective Senator, and unafraid to stand up to extreme forces in Washington who would harm Kentucky.”
So, it seems that Grimes doesn’t have the mental – or political – strength to stand up against Obama’s extreme environmental agenda. How’s that serving the people of Kentucky? We don’t need any more politicians who vote for increased electrical bills and gutting of jobs in Washington. Grimes’ dithering should be a sign that she supports such views, but is too scared to admit them to the public.