CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than a dozen busloads of West Virginians will be heading to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for the national “Rally For American Energy Jobs” on Capitol Hill.

Organizers with “Count on Coal” said members of Congress, American energy and manufacturing workers from across the United States and citizens who want affordable domestic energy are expected to attend.

“Everyone’s frustrated.  They feel helpless in the sense of everything that’s coming their way from this Administration,” said West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney.

However, he admitted those in the Obama Administration, including officials with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, may not be willing to listen.

“You just never know, but you certainly won’t know until you go try.  We’ve got to see what kind of voice they will listen to up there,” said Raney.

Those with the EPA are currently traveling the U.S. with President Barack Obama’s proposed Climate Action Plan for a series of listening sessions.  The agency has been criticized for scheduling those public meetings in large cities and skipping the areas where coal is produced.

Earlier this year, the EPA released its proposed new rules limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants and is currently taking public comments on those possible regulations.

Emissions regulations for existing coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be released next summer.

The “Rally For American Energy Jobs” is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on the U.S. Capitol’s west side.

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  • Spell Checker

    The coal jobs are in the gas industry. Drive to central West Virginia and ask anyone from Texas or Oklahoma.

  • Mike Dineen

    It's past time that leaders in WV prepare the southern counties for life after coal.

    • RHytonen

      It's also time they prepared the GAS frackers for a tidal wave of rage against spoiling West Virginia for their quick exporting and speculating bucks that only drive UP domestic energy prices and deplete our scarce resources MUCH sooner.
      (Leaving us a ravaged, toxic industrial zone to live in. Any tourism will be for shock and pity, for what WE LET HAPPEN to West Virginia!. Forget wildlife or hunting/fishing - for residents OR tourists! What will our grandchildren eat- or drink- when ALL the water and land is poisoned, defoliated forever, and there are no deer or even a squirrel?)

      As for coal, it's been dying for 50 years. Statistically, ANY business or industry SHEDS jobs as it ages ("grows,") to cut costs and maximize profits.

      What we need - new sources of renewable, non-destructive energy- is STARTUPS, which, again statistically proven, are what create ALL jobs.

  • JTC

    Natural gas is replacing coal and will continue to do so that is just plain fact ( drive west on route 50 between Clarksburg and Parkersburg) for the visual effect. What role coal plays in our future is uncertain but it will be declining unless science can come up with a cleaner solution. What ever happened to the liquified coal plants we heard so much about a few years ago? I too worked in the coal mines in the early 1980's before Reagan dumped on the unions sent many of us to the unemployment lines so this has been coming for decades.

  • wvrefugee

    Natural gas is the culprit, not Obama!

  • Spell Checker

    Face reality, Coal Owners. Outside of a handful of counties, coal is not an issue--a cleaner environment is however. Nineteenth century extractors' days are indeed numbered and so is their political clout.

    • The bookman

      The reality is that we currently have no way to replace the energy we generate currently with coal...and if you think the loss of coal severance taxes and the additional economic activity a vibrant coal industry provides the entire state of west virginia, then you weren't paying attention last week when the state's tax collection projections were coming up way short...if you think coal operators will starve due to this administrations policies you are not living in coal demand is projected to rise...this industry will simply move elsewhere to meet that all of the above energy policy must include coal