Coalby Representative Tim Murphy
Posted on 2013-06-27
MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, in May, more than 130
employees at PBS Coals in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, were laid off.
It was the third round of layoffs by the company in less than a year.
The men and women of PBS Coals joined more than 5,000 coal miners who
lost their jobs in 2012.
With his announcements of ``Cap-and-Trade: The Sequel,'' the President recently declared not just a war on coal but a war on jobs. It won't just be coal miners who lose their jobs or boilermakers who no longer are building and maintaining power plants, but also thousands of laborers, electricians, operating engineers, steamfitters, welders, plumbers, carpenters, machinists, and railroad workers will be out of work--real people, real faces, real families. They'll join the 130 at a Joy Mining factory in Millersburg, Kentucky, who were laid off in March; in Peoria, Illinois, the hundreds of boilermakers at a Komatsu equipment factory who were let go; and, in Erie, Pennsylvania, where GE is laying off 950 workers at its locomotive plants because less coal means less work for the railroads.
These men and women are out of work because, at the country's 600 coal plants, more than 20 percent of all coal-fired units are being shut down in part due to EPA regulations. And that was before the President's speech on Tuesday announcing new global warming regulations. Now, more families will be out of work and struggling to get by. These are American families trying to pay off mortgages, car loans, put their children through school. Real Americans who sweated and toiled, all in hopes that the next generation of their children would climb higher towards the American Dream.
The President's new coal regulations will come at a cost of $184 billion and 180,000 fewer jobs each year in mining, transportation, manufacturing, and power generation. As coal energy is cut off, it means higher electric bills. Families will spend $400 more each year on their energy bill. That's on top of the $2,000 more each year they pay for gasoline. And higher energy bills means higher manufacturing costs, hurting our steel industry even more as it struggles to compete in world markets.
We should be modernizing, not shutting down these coal-powered plants. We can burn coal cleanly. Since 1970, coal has tripled in its use. Meanwhile, sulfur dioxide emissions are down 56 percent and nitrous oxide is down 38 percent. Mercury emissions in the U.S. dropped roughly 60 percent since the 1950s.
Let's bring back the campaign promise made by President Obama for clean coal and use the talent of our scientists and engineers and our tradesmen for better technology.
This week, families throughout America were startled when a top Obama science adviser was quoted in The New York Times saying, ``A war on coal is exactly what's needed.'' But this is not just a war on coal. It's a war on the American worker and their family. These families want high-paying jobs and lower energy bills. They want doors to open, not to have them slam in their faces. They do not want Washington to surrender American jobs to foreign manufacturers. These fathers, these mothers, and these children will not surrender. They are waking up and saying, Stop the war on our jobs. And they are not going to sit back quietly much longer.