CHARLESTON, WV (October 26, 2020) – The West Virginia Coal Association today issued the following statement on the passing of Robert Murray, founder and CEO of Murray Energy.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray. Bob was the embodiment of the American Dream – a fourth-generation coal miner who made his way from the mine face to the board room. He never wavered in his love for our industry and for the people who work in it. He defended our nation’s coal jobs with the passion of a country preacher. We have been proud to have Bob Murray as a member of our association and, more importantly, to call him our friend. He will be missed.”
The WVCA sends its condolences to his wife Brenda, and sons: Robert, Ryan and Jonathan.
By T.L. HEADLEY
Communications Director, Citizens for Coal
In 1961, then Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy and Democrat nominee for President visited the coalfields of West Virginia. He visited the coal towns, the company stores on Island Creek and met with thousands of coal miners. He showed clearly that he cared about coal country. Kennedy won West Virginia that year and with it won the presidency. He was tragically killed two years later, assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
In 1961, the Democrat Party represented the working-class people of America, the coal miners, steel workers, auto workers, the farmers and others. It shared our values. But somewhere along the line between then and now, the Democrat Party lost its way. It abandoned working-class Americans and traditional American values and chose to push an increasingly radical agenda. What was the voice of the American people has today become the voice of socialism, of radical environmentalism, of anti-industrialism, of killing babies and the violent political of division that has turned our city streets into lawless war zones.
For the past 60 years, we have watched as the Democrats pushed companies overseas with their increasingly heavy taxes and regulatory strangulation.
First, they went after steel and we lost our steel manufacturing to Japan and China. Then they pushed our auto industry into bankruptcy and decay. One after another they drove businesses off to other countries. Then, in 2009, with the election of the Obama/Biden regime, they came after coal. Regulation after regulation was passed, making it more and more difficult to mine, transport and use coal. The result was easy to see – companies driven into bankruptcy, coal mines closing and tens of thousands of layoffs. These coal mining families were forced to leave a lifetime’s possessions to foreclosure and repossession to find jobs somewhere else. Schools closed and communities died, given over to an epidemic of drugs and alcohol – a slow spiral of death.
Eight years of Obama/Biden nearly killed the nation’s coal industry. The Democrat Party of John Kennedy was dead. To Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton, those Kennedy Democrats were now “deplorables.”
Then in 2016, the choice was stark and clear – between continuing down that course to the death of our coal industry and the hope for a new start – between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump promised to help our industry – to help our coalfield communities by bringing those businesses back to the United States and stabilizing our coal industry. Clinton, the Democrat, said proudly that “she was going to put a lot of coal miners out of business.”
Trump, the Republican, won West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other formerly Democratic states in what Democrats called “The Rust Belt.”
Trump made good on his promises to us in America’s “Rust Belt.” He brought investment back to the United States with lower taxes and he moved swiftly to end the radicalized regulatory agencies’ reign of terror. The result was the fastest growing economy and lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Our auto, steel and manufacturing industries began to grow again. Coal employment stabilized and we actually started to see some of those laid off return to work. Only a worldwide pandemic was able to slow our economy.
Now, it is 2020 and the choice is between continuing the policies of the Trump Administration and getting our nation back on track, or a return to the destructive policies of Obama/Biden combined with radical socialism of the modern “Democrat” Party.
For America’s coal miners, coal communities and the rest of the “Rust Belt” – all of us “Deplorables” — there is no choice. We MUST re-elect President Trump if we are to stand any chance at all of holding on to our way of life.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of West Virginia. I have a college degree and could have gone anywhere else in the world and probably made a lot more money, but I chose to stay here because it is my home. I am proud to be a West Virginian and proud to be the product of two generations of a coal mining family. I am proud of the contribution the coal industry has made to this country and proud of our coal miners.
My father was a Kennedy Democrat and he would be ashamed of what the modern Democrat Party has become.
An eternal flame was placed on President Kennedy’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. It was meant to symbolize his eternal love for this country. It seems today’s Democratic Party is intent on snuffing out that flame.
Editor’s Note: T.L. Headley is a professional educator in West Virginia. He holds an MBA from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in education from Marshall University and a master’s degree in public relations from Marshall. He is also an energy expert with more than 20 years of experience in the coal industry.
By T.L. HEADLEY, communications director
American Coal Council
GRANITE CITY, IL — Granite City is the quintessential American small town. It has a population of about 26,000 and for more than 100 years, its economy has largely been dependent on the local U.S. Steel manufacturing plant. For most of that time the community lived with the assurance that comes with an economy centered on basic industry.
That assurance was shaken three years ago when the steel plant laid off most of the 2,000 workers, leaving only a small skeleton crew. The town was shaken at its core. Rosemarie Brown, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County, said the closure was “devastating.”
“The Granite City Works is vital to the community,” Brown said. “In fact, the town was founded around the plant in 1894.” Brown said that in the year after the plant effectively shut down, the Chamber lost 26 member companies.
All that changed when the new Trump administration shifted U.S. trade policy and began taking actions to support the domestic steel industry. Earlier this year, U.S. Steel announced it was restarting both furnaces at the Granite City plant and began recalling laid-off workers. Approximately 800 have returned to work in just the past few months with just one furnace online. More will be needed when the second furnace goes back into production later this year.
Tracking Coal through the Process of Steel Making
By Glenn Kellow, CEO
WASHINGTON, DC –– U.S. coal exports are booming; domestic generation is easing; global metallurgical coal demand is strong; American natural gas and renewables are tough competitors; new coal plants continue to be built in large numbers particularly in Asia; opponents call for divestment from fossil fuels; recent policies represent potential opportunity.
Just another year in the dynamic coal industry, you might say. Yet amid this mixed “elevator analysis” related to coal fundamentals, I would submit that we can make two statements with confidence.
First: Coal remains an essential part of our global energy mix and a key ingredient in steelmaking.
Second: The question is not “Should we use coal?”, but “How should we use coal?”… And the answer is: cleaner every day.
Glenn Kellow is President & CEO of Peabody, and serves as chairman of the World Coal Association and vice chairman of the International Energy Agency’s Coal Industry Advisory Board.
A Cup Half Full: Answering the Question “Why Coal and How Coal?”
By T.L. Headley, communications director
American Coal Council
WASHINGTON, DC –– Recently, I spoke with the leaders of four of the nation’s state coal associations and asked them to discuss their experiences over the past few years, to assess the current status of the industry in their states and regions, and to share their views of the industry’s future strengths and opportunities.
Those interviewed included Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association; Rachel Gleason, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance; Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association; and Travis Deti, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association.
Regional State of the State: Association Leaders Look to the Future
We would like to apologize to our readers for leaving our blog unattended for the past few months. We are pleased to say this blog will no longer be unattended and will be regularly updated. We thank you for your continued patronage of our site and we promise we will do our best to once again make this blog your go-to source for news, information and commentary about the nation’s coal industry with a particular focus on West Virginia.
By Devin Henry
WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 25, 2017) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday said it would reassess the way it issues Clean Air Act pollution permits for new facilities, as a way to reduce regulatory burdens for businesses.
As part of a review President Trump mandated earlier this year, the EPA said it would undertake four new initiatives to re-evaluate how it regulates pollution.
The most notable of those is the creation of a new task force to reconsider the permitting process for new sources of air pollution under the Clean Air Act, called the New Source Review (NSR).
“The potential costs, complexity and delays that may arise from the NSR permitting process can slow the construction of domestic energy exploration, production, or transmission facilities that must undergo review,” the EPA wrote in a 15-page report on its regulations.
“In some circumstances, the NSR process discourages the construction of new facilities or modifications of existing ones that could result in greater environmental improvements. Such reactions to the NSR process slows the growth of domestic energy resources and raise energy.”
By Roger Bezdek
Public Utilities Fortnightly
WASHINGTON, DC (October 2017) — In Part One, we assessed the recent past and current state of the U.S. coal industry, with emphasis on Appalachia. In Part Two, we examine alternative scenario futures for the industry, involving assumptions about economic growth, energy requirements, technologies, tax incentives, and research and development.