Salineville, OH 1/30/15 – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson continued his support of the coal industry Thursday as the industry battles what they see as the Obama administration’s “War on Coal.”
This time, he was joined by newly elected state Rep. Tim Ginter of Salem as the two visited the Shean Hill Mine in Jefferson County two miles south of Salineville. This is the fourth mine the Marietta-based Republican has visited, and feels the industry still has plenty to offer.
“The coal industry is vitally important to America’s energy, present and future,” Johnson said. “So we like to learn as much as we can about the struggles that our mine operators are having in going after this resource.”
Ginter, Johnson, and their representatives toured the mine along with Ohio Coal Association president Christian Palich and mine owner Tom Mackall to experience what it’s like as one of the 25 miners currently working there.
“We were laying down, and I had to kneel, and I hit my hat a few times. That’s how low it is,” Ginter said. “I have a great deal of respect for these workers.”
The industry has expressed great concern after the Environmental Protection Agency required that power plants reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent from now until 2030.
“Coal provides 70 percent of Ohio’s electricity and because of that, we enjoy electricity prices 9 percent below the national average,” Palich said. “If the president continues down this path of overregulations and a radical climate change plan that puts people out of work, it’s going to affect electricity prices for families that are struggling.”
Johnson also said the administration’s emission regulations could affect as many as 200,000 jobs based on a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Should we be using coal environmentally soundly? Absolutely we should,” Johnson said. “I believe we can figure out how to do that, but not at the risk of our energy security, and certainly not at the risk of the economy.”
Ginter also felt that the industry is being deliberately attacked, and feels the industry needs to do everything possible to put this war to an end.
“It is just way over the top, and this war on coal, we just have to fight against it,” Ginter said. “These are good people, these are good jobs that’s supplying energy to the nation, and we just have to stop this.”
The Shean Hill Mine, which opened for business in 2007, is owned by the Sterling Mining Corp., a subsidiary of the East Fairfield Coal Co. of North Lima