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Meeting the Climate Change Challenge—An Interview with Hal Quinn

On September 8, Platts Energy Week TV interviewed NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn about the coal industry’s challenge before the Obama Administration, specifically EPA’s proposals to implement the president’s climate change plan. This is an abridged version of Quinn’s full interview with Platts’ Bill Loveless that is available at www.plattsenergyweektv.com.

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Helping the President Help the Middle Class

By Luke Popovich

President Obama is concerned about the weak economy and rightly so. The July jobless rate dropped slightly to 7.4%, but only because the number of Americans looking for work dropped too.  Wages adjusted for inflation also declined, so the relatively few jobs created won’t support a family, let alone middle class status.  

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Running Right on Safety

It’s rare enough to catch a glimpse of the future. And when you do, it can occur in the most unlikely place. So it was last month with the official opening of the Running Right Leadership Academy, Alpha Natural Resources’ spanking new $23 million training center in Julian, W. Va. Some in attendance came away with the feeling they were seeing not only a marvel of engineering, but a proud new day in American mining.

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It Isn’t Just Gas

If misery loves company, this past month has been good for the coal industry. Whether we mine coal, process minerals, manufacture mining machinery or provide any one of scores of mining services, few concerns unite our voices as much as the concern over regulatory overreach. After revelations that the Justice Department confiscated thousands of Associated Press phone records, even the news media is sharing our concerns and joining the chorus for federal restraint.

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Disorder in the Court

We can now put all that “war on coal” rhetoric aside.  Today, that charge is so yesterday.  

The reason it’s no longer a war on coal is because the war just got bigger. After an appellate court decision in Washington last month, the war is waged on every industry that needs a permit to build a road, dig a hole or construct a house. Can’t blame the Environmental Protection Agency this time. Thanks to federal judges sitting in Washington, any activity that disturbs nature and requires a 404 permit under the Clean Water Act is now a potential target for extinction by a federal regulator.

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