Corridor G, located in Danville, outside of Charleston, is made up of the Hobet 21 mine and Beth Station preparation plant and employs 360. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice was issued September 9.
Patriot officials did not indicate the specific number of furloughs or detail its plans for production cutbacks, but were clear on the impetus for the decision.
“The combination of increasing EPA regulations, mild summer weather and low natural gas prices has resulted in thermal coal pricing at levels below operating costs at many Appalachian mines,” Patriot President and Chief Executive Officer Bennett Hatfield said. “Over the next two months, Corridor G management will further evaluate operations and staffing to assess their ability to produce coal at lower costs and determine the extent of actions to be taken.”
In a statement, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a staunch coal supporter, called for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to examine the impact its potential regulations continue to have.
“We recognize market trends can play a part in these potential closures; however, these trends also reflect the regulatory environment in which industry must operate,” he said. “We continue our fight for West Virginia’s mining jobs and urge the EPA to reconsider its proposed plan and realize the real impact their proposed CO2 rules would have on West Virginia miners, their families and our communities.”