Coal Age

DEC 2012

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e d i t o r 's n o t e Labor Leaders Appeal to Obama D uring late November, union leaders sent a letter to President Obama congratulating him on his win and asking him to treat coal fairly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to issue a final New Source Performance Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emissions during December. If enacted without any changes, they reminded the president that all new base-load power plants would be forced to abandon coal in favor of natural gas. They said that BY STEVE FISCOR the agency's efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions from / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF power plants poses an extreme threat to "hundreds of thousands" of union workers employed in the utility, railroad, construction and related industries. The letter was signed by six trade union leaders representing transport workers, boiler makers, electricians, utility workers and coal miners. The letter was also sent to EPA Director Lisa Jackson, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, Congress and AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka. In addition to reminding him that carbon capture and storage has not been commercially developed in the U.S. yet, they also state three primary concerns. For the first time in 40 years, the EPA is applying the same rules to coal-fired generation as it is to gas-fired power. Instead of being technology- or fuel-neutral, the proposed rule discriminates against new coal units. The rule places an unprecedented burden of addressing global climate change on one industry sector in one country. Where have these people been for the past four years? It is easy to understand that during the 2012 presidential campaign these left-leaning constituents would hide in the wings secretly hoping for a change in leadership that would support true job growth in the private sector. Where were they three years ago when the EPA declared war on coal? Unlike some members of Congress, they were afraid to break rank and speak up for the people they represent. Instead, they left the responsibility of challenging the EPA's authority to the coal operators and the National Mining Association (NMA). Why did they have to copy Trumka? Why didn't the leader of the largest labor group sign it? He is not simply some administrator that was promoted through the ranks to lead the AFL-CIO. He was the leader of the United Mine Workers of America prior to Cecil Roberts. Apparently he now has to be reminded by memorandum that the coal industry is fighting to preserve its future. The reason is that labor and radical environmental activism cannot coexist. Environmental activists pursue agendas without regard for the cost to society. Factories close and the jobs migrate to regions that have fewer environmental considerations. Power companies can only pass the costs along to ratepayers. Environmental activists assume that consumers (taxpayers) or the government (taxpayers) will pick up the tab just as it has for renewable energy. Unions need jobs to sustain their membership and they, similar to the companies they support, have to remain cost competitive. Those companies need to be able to do business in a setting that treats them fairly and allows them to plan for the long term. Perhaps the president will hear their 11th hour plea, but it will probably fall on deaf ears. Steve Fiscor, Coal Age Editor-In-Chief Mining Media International Editorial Office 11555 Central Parkway, Suite 401 Jacksonville, Florida 32224 U.S.A. Phone: +1.904.721.2925 Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editor-In-Chief—Steve Fiscor, Western Field Editor—Russ Carter, European Editor—Simon Walker, Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, Associate Editor—Gina Tverdak-Slattery, Associate Editor & Photographer— Lee Buchsbaum, Graphic Designer—Austin St. Clair, Mining Media International Corporate Office 8751 East Hampden, Suite B1 Denver, Colorado 80231 U.S.A. Phone: +1.303.283.0640 Fax: +1.303.283.0641 President/Publisher—Peter Johnson, Vice President of Sales & Marketing—John Bold, U.S. & Canada Sales Manager—Victor Matteucci, Scandinavia, UK and European Sales Manager—Colm Barry, German Sales Manager—Gerd Strasmann, Classified Advertising—Norm Rose, Show Manager—Tanna Holzer, Ad Traffic Manager—Erica Freeman, Coal Age, Volume 117, Issue 12, (ISSN 1040-7820) is published monthly by Mining Media Inc., 10 Sedgwick Drive, Englewood, Colorado 80113 ( Periodicals postage paid at Englewood, CO, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Email: Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calendar, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year, $56.00, 2 year, $96.00, 3 year, $162.00, Student, $16.00, Outside the USA and Canada, 1 year, $77.00, 2 year, $137.00, 3 year, $225.00 surface mail (1 year, $145.00, 2 year, $257.00 airmail delivery). For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to Coal Age , 8751 East Hampden, Suite B1, Denver, CO 80231 USA; call +1.303.283.0640 (USA) or visit ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. 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