Archive for coal mining

VIDEO: Utah coal company owned by Obama critic blames the president for 102 workers laid off


Willard M. Romney lost the presidential election, so what's a coal company owner who supported him to do? Why, default to Blame Obama mode, that's what.

Does anyone remember President Obama doing anything to depress the coal industry? I remember him touting "clean coal" (there is no such thing) in his stump speeches. If that doesn't restrict coal production, nothing will.

Unfortunately, that so-called War on Coal doesn't exist:

As for Romney:

But the truth doesn't matter much to Obama critics.


EAST CARBON, Carbon County — A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.

The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.

The layoffs are necessary because of the president's "war on coal," the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Maybe the owner is like Mitt and likes to fire people.

If a company had done the same thing had Romney won, the GOP would be screaming at the top of their pollution-damaged lungs.

UPDATE: Applebee’s CEO Threatens To Fire Employees And Freeze Hiring Because Of Obamacare

Plus: Las Vegas business owner fires 22 ‘mostly Hispanic’ employees over Obama win


2003 VIDEO: Coal Miner's Fodder. Romnesia again, Mitt?


Wowee! Willard M. Romney has a brand new ad out in Pennsylvania!

But oops, David Corn found a little something that Mitt forgot to include:

Romney releases new ad blasting Obama for being anti-coal. But it left out this footage...

— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 30, 2012

So please, allow me:

on May 20, 2011:

2/6/03: Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attacks the Salem coal plant for killing people, saying it would be cleaned up by 2004. That has not happened.

Details schmetails.


VIDEO: Team Obama hits Mitt Romney over coal miners who were used as props in Romney ad


(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Remember this? Coal miners: We were forced to attend Romney event, donate, & lost pay when he visited mine to promote coal jobs. Me too. You know who else does? :


"Seen the coal miners in these ads? Turns out they were told that attendance at Mitt Romney's rally was 'mandatory'. Their mine was closed, lost the pay they needed—all to be props in Romney's commercial."

WWVA News Radio 1170, Host David Blomquist:

"Employees feel they were forced to go, they had to take the day off without pay. They took a roll call. And they had a list of who was there and who wasn't. And felt that they wouldn't have had a job if they did not attend."


Coal miners: We were forced to attend Romney event, donate, & lost pay when he visited mine to promote coal jobs


(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WWVA, broadcast Aug. 27, 2012, via Raw Story. David Blomquis interviewed Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.

So you know that "war on coal" that Team Romney is accusing Team Obama of waging (Psst! Willard! There's no such thing as "clean coal," so maybe the president is actually fighting for the health and well-being of Americans)?

Why, here's Willard now!

If there's a war, it seems it wasn't Obama's doing since he certainly wasn't the one who provoked this reaction from coal miners, via

When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview

A group of employees who feared they'd be fired if they didn't attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist.

Raw Story:

Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time,” the employees told Blomquist. “Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.” [...]

We do not appreciate being intimidated into exchanging our time for nothing. I heard one of your callers saying that Murray employees are well aware of what they are getting into upon hire, or that they are informed that a percentage of their income will go to political donations. I can not speak for that caller, but this is news for me. We merely find out how things work by experience.” [...]

At the time, conservative blogs and websites like The Daily Caller, The Gateway Pundit and Townhall trumpeted the fact that “hundreds of Ohio coal miners attended” the event. Even though the mine was closed on Aug. 14, soot-covered miners were staged behind the GOP hopeful as he spoke.

No surprise there. Everything about the Romney campaign, including the candidate, is superficial and staged.


VIDEO- Rand Paul: "I Don’t Think Anyone’s Going To Be Missing A Hill Or Two Here & There"


Look what Think Progress is sharing with us:

Crooks and Liars has unearthed an interview Rand Paul gave in 2009 where the candidate aired these strident views with respect to mountaintop removal.

Rand, Rand, what are we going to do with you? Oh, I know! Defeat you!

"I'd be a great friend to coal, no taxes on their profit... lower taxes on the coal industry...Coal's a big part of our future."

But the money line:

I don’t think anybody’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there.

I wonder if Rand is aware of this (via a post of ours from last April, from our pal Micheal Stinson, aka Symbolman):

Of if Mr. Friend to Coal has read these other posts. No, of course he hasn't.

As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has pointed out, “Mountain-top mining has been more accurately described as the ‘rape of Appalachia,’ as rural communities are destroyed economically and environmentally for coal industry.”

Our ocean has already been raped. Now this genius is shrugging off the removal of "a hill or two here and there."

Who cares about perpetuating life when there's money to be made?


Massey Denies It Prevented Miners From Attending Funerals


By GottaLaff

Earlier, I posted about Massey Energy refusing to allow time off for miners who wanted to attend their loved ones’ funerals.

They're denying it.

Massey spokesman Troy Andes:

“We know of no instances when miners were denied a request to attend a funeral.”

They know of no instances. Maybe someone simply forgot to tell them. Or they did this:

The Washington Independent also reminds us that even if this wasn't a Massey policy, it might have been enforced by subsidiaries who actually run the mines and have their own rules.


Massey Coal: No Time off for Miners to Attend Friends’ Funerals


By GottaLaff

A sign outside a West Virginia vigil for coal miners who lost their lives in the Upper Big Branch explosion on April 5 (EPA/

If Massey's CEO, Don Blankenship, had been confronted by strong unions, things might have been different. Lives might have been saved, and this despicable turn of events might have been avoided.

Via the Washington Independent:

Massey Energy, the Virginia-based coal giant that runs the Upper Big Branch Mine, has denied time off for miners to attend their friends’ funerals; has rejected makeshift memorials outside the mine site; and, in at least one case, required a worker to go on shift even though the fate of a relative — one of the victims of the April 5 disaster — remained unknown at the time, according to some family members and other sources familiar with those episodes. In short, the company might be taking heat for putting profits and efficiency above its workers, but it doesn’t appear to have changed its tune in the wake of the worst mining tragedy in 40 years.

Remember the scene in Miracle on 34th Street, when Kris Kringle is talking to Alfred, the Macy janitor and Alfred laments...

That's all that matters to Massey: profit. Profit over lives. The very people who make him money are expendable. But dollars aren't.

They told my husband, ‘You’ve got a job to do and you’re gonna do it,’” said the wife of one Massey miner, referring to the funerals he’s missed this month for friends who died in the blast. “What else are we gonna do?

What else, indeed.

The culture of fear is everywhere. It's in politics, it's at gun rallies, at Tea Bagger protests, white supremacist gatherings, and now it's directed at those who lost loved ones:

I guarantee it: Massey’s already told these guys, ‘Hey, don’t say nothin’. You’re not talking to no reporters. You’re not saying nothin’ about our safety record — or you won’t have a job,’” said Chuck Nelson, a former Massey miner who’s since become an environmental activist with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. “That’s the way they operate.”

That's the way they operate. There isn't a heart anywhere in Blankenship's body. He and Cheney should start a club.

Massey wouldn't even let a mourner hang a wreath at the entrance to the mine. Nice people skills, Don. Bully much?

When we were all union, if there was something that came up, it wasn’t no problem at all to shut that mine down until everything was fixed.” said Nelson, who worked for nearly 20 years in union mines before Massey took over. “Non-union [workers], they ain’t got that right.”

Massey ain't got nothin' right.

H/t: hapkidogal