Robert Bradley, CEO of the Institute for Energy Research, published the following article today:
In a familiar sign of the times, another major U.S. coal company recently announced layoffs. Alpha Natural Resources, which has mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, is cutting coal production and terminating 1,200 jobs, accounting for nearly a tenth of its workforce.
Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield tied the cuts to “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” To keep the company viable, Alpha will switch from mining thermal coal for U.S. power plants to metallurgical coal for steelmaking overseas.
Alpha’s announcement illustrates the here-and-now effects of Washington, D.C.’s regulatory war on coal, not only increased competition from natural gas and lost demand from the Great Recession. Meanwhile, Obama’s energy policy allocates taxpayer monies to time-disproven “green” (perpetually green?) technologies in a special-interest ruse.
Two special interests are benefitting from an energy policy that results in higher energy prices, less energy reliability and rising federal deficits. One is politically connected business that “rent-seek” in political venues. The profitability of ethanol, wind power, (on-grid) solar power, and electric cars is all about such special political favor, not underlying consumer demand. The second beneficiary is agenda-driven environmentalists who remain stuck to ecologically controversial energies to limit the natural growth of free-market capitalism.
To read the full article, click here.