West Virginia Democrats are outraged with President Obamas Environmental Protection Agency, which has now cost the jobs of nearly 150 coal miners in the state.
Energy giant Consol announced Tuesday that it will idle its surface mining operations in Mingo County after failing to secure necessary Clean Water Act permits from the EPA.
The Miller Creek surface mine facility has been in operation for decades, and the company had planned to construct the new King Coal Highway as part of a reclamation project after mining is complete. Coal mine employees, Consol said, would eventually have been assigned to the highway project, once the coal supplies had been exhausted.
Democrats in the state, already angry with the administrations war on coal, unloaded on the EPA on Tuesday afternoon.
I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.
Mr. Manchin has been one of the loudest critics of Mr. Obamas environmental policy. He skipped this years Democratic convention, and, in one of his campaign commercials, literally shot a hole through the controversial cap-and-trade bill.
This project is a win-win and the EPA is trying to make it a loser, he continued.
Mingo County officials have estimated that the mine and King Coal Highway projects could over the next 15 years created as many as 2,500 new jobs and supported the development of about 2,000 acres of land.
W.Va. Democrats unload on Obama EPA over new layoffs in coal industry - Washington Times