For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2016

Trump Offers Real Hope for Our Coalfield Communities

By Roger Horton, president
Citizens for Coal

Earlier this week, we launched Coal for Trump, an 10563222_674533305964419_4503646227473895732_norganization focused solely on the upcoming race for the presidency of the United States. We believe Donald Trump offers real hope to our coalfield communities. He has said clearly that he will push for the reining in and elimination of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – the rogue federal agency that has been used as a political weapon by the Obama Administration and the national Democratic Party against its political enemies – most notably America’s coal and energy industries.

Trump understands that America must rebuild its manufacturing base, and to do so it needs dependable American energy sources like coal. Without coal you can’t make steel. Without coal, our nation simply can’t keep its lights on and its engine of industry turning.

Yes, Hillary Clinton has promised to fund a $30 billion relief effort for the nation’s coalfields, but when you actually look at the programs she would include in this “coalfield relief” it becomes clear our mining communities in West Virginia would get pennies on the dollar for what they have taken from us.  To put it in perspective, West Virginia’s coal industry provides $3.4 annually in wages alone and $26 billion in contributions to the state’s gross state product.  Beyond that, Clinton says she wants to “retrain” coal miners – what exactly would they be retraining for?  What about the homes, cars and possessions that would likely be lost? How about the damage done to these people’s lives? Ruined credit would prevent many from leaving even if they could find another job.
We don’t need band-aids. No matter how big they are, a band-aid won’t stop a hemorrhage. And we are hemorrhaging jobs across the coalfields. Our coal miners need to be unshackled and set free from the regulatory chains imposed on them by the Obama’s overseers at the EPA.
As a lifelong Democrat, I would never have believed a Democratic president  — or ANY president — would intentionally destroy an entire segment of the nation’s economy. I would never have believed either national political party would do so, but that is exactly what the Obama Administration and the new leadership of the national Democratic Party has done. Now Hillary wants to continue and complete the work started by Obama. She

gleefully said in Ohio that “we are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of work.” Then – as an afterthought she offered a pat on the head and a “now be a good dog and go away.”

For these reasons, West Virginians MUST support Donald Trump in his bid to be the next president. We need to bring the nightmare of the past seven years to an end. The 11,000 unemployed coal miners and 50,000 service and contract workers currently laid off can’t afford to wait another year much less another four.

So we ask that you go to https://www.facebook.com/coal4trump/ and like Coal for Trump. We ask that you also join United Citizens for Coal at https://www.facebook.com/citizensforcoal/ and help us continue to fight for a future for our coal miners and coal communities.

Roger Horton, president
Citizens for Coal

-30-

About

Citizens for Coal is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping maintain the vitality and productivity of the coal industry in West Virginia. Our organization consists of any member of the community that is involved directly or indirectly with the coal industry and understands its importance within our state’s economy.

Citizens for Coal is dedicated to promoting awareness and education of the importance of the coal industry for the continued growth and development of our state. As a group, we express our thoughts and concerns to law makers both at home and in our country’s capital whose decisions will have long-lasting impacts on our livelihoods. We foster a ‘we can’ mentality that reminds us all that together we can make a difference. We understand that coal can and should be mined using the most efficient and safe technologies to date. We take pride in the fact that as workers, we are well trained and skilled at our trades.

T.L. Headley, vice president
United Citizens for Coal

Senator Joe Manchin appears to be trying to drum up support for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Manchin hosted a “town hall” in Charleston this past Thursday in which he called for public input into his decision.  Despite the billing, it appears Manchin was using the forum to push his view that Garland’s nomination deserves to be moved to the Senate for a vote.  Republicans say an appointment that could radically shift the court to the left for generations should wait until the outcome of the November elections and a new president, whoever that may be, takes office.  In essence, the Republicans believe the voters should decide the future of the court with their vote in this year’s general election.

Closer to home, Garland has a clear history of supporting the power grabs of the EPA and our industry, our state and our people simply can’t afford to have someone who would allow the EPA’s war on coal to continue unabated sitting on the court for 10, 20 or even 30 years. Our industry would not survive.

Among other decisions, in 2003, Garland wrote an opinion upholding the federal government’s application of the Endangered Species Act, which opponents challenged on the ground that the act exceeded the bounds of the Commerce Clause. In several other cases, he voted to uphold EPA regulations on emissions.

Senator Manchin surely must know Garland’s record, and that makes his decision to support the Obama nomination impossible to understand.  West Virginia simply can’t afford to indulge in politics as usual and we can’t allow our elected representatives to do so either.

We have 11,000 coal miners unemployed as well as another 50,000 people who held support jobs. We have unemployment topping 11 percent across much of the state. Child poverty is up more than 25 percent in many of those same counties. And the state is likely facing a $500 million budget shortfall when all is said and done. Schools, clinics and other services are closing due to budget shortages.

With this appointment of Garland, Obama shows he intends to appoint a new Supreme Court justice who will tip the balance in favor of his war on coal as well as the rest of his left wing agenda – locking it in place for generations and that is something we simply cannot allow.

If Senator Manchin has chosen, as it appears, to support Obama and his effort to push a Supreme Court appointment through, making permanent damage caused by his war on coal, then it is simply time West Virginia replaces Manchin with someone who will truly work to defend the state’s coal jobs.

We hope we are wrong in believing Manchin has chosen to take Obama’s thirty pieces of silver in return for the sacrifice of our state’s coal miners and their families. We hope Manchin chooses to stand with conservative senators who have indicated they will not support an Obama nominee to the Supreme Court and will instead wait for the results of the November election to decide the future of not only coal but of our country.

We are asking Senator Manchin to put the needs of West Virginia’s coal miners and their families ahead of politics. We are asking him to say no to the Garland nomination and no to ANY Obama nominee to the Supreme Court.  If Manchin chooses to ignore our requests and put his partisan politics ahead of the needs of our people, then we can guarantee that we will remember such a sell-out when he runs for re-election.

We have listened to politicians’ empty promises and worthless words for too long.  Now is the time for Manchin or any other politician to put up or shut up.

-30-

Citizens for Coal

Citizens for Coal is a grassroots organization comprised of approximately 10,000 people from all walks of life who share one common belief — that coal mining is a vital part of the economy of the Appalachia region and must be protected from radicals who are trying to destroy the industry, take away the livelihoods of thousands of families and bankrupt entire communities. United Mine Workers of America member and coal miner Roger Horton is the president and founder of Citizens for Coal. The organization is based in Logan, West Virginia and has members from all 50 states.

By Roger Horton & T.L. Headley
LOGAN — While we work to rWhitetail_Deer-Hunting-Top-10-47218estore the coal industry we must also work to better develop and diversify our state’s economy — particularly that of the southern coalfields. Along those lines we have developed, what we believe is a solid idea that will help many of our citizens develop their own small businesses.
One thing we have in abundance in West Virginia is scenic mountain land. We have seen the popularity of the Hatfield McCoy Trail System with ATV riders nationwide. These trails have made use of lands owned by mining companies and land holding companies. The land has little current use other than its mineral and timber resources.
We also have an abundance of outdoorsmen. Many of them trained surface miners who are very familiar with the mountains and former surface mine sites around the state.
We should take a page from the western states and Alaska and develop a system where guided hunting and fishing tours are conducted by licensed and recognized “master guides.”
Most of our coal and land companies are understandably hesistant about opening their land — which often contains hazards such as highwalls, high tension lines, etc. — to outsiders who lack proper knowledge of the area and might pose a danger to themselves or others. Establishing a system of licensed guides who can provide packaged hunting and fishing expeditions to tourists is a perfect extension of the already existing Hatfield-McCoy brand and could be packaged as such, with each supporting the other.
We believe properly developed, this system could provide the opportunity for many of our laid off coal miners to have high quality jobs doing something they already do for fun — hunting, fishing and camping.
We would like to hear your views on this possibility. Post your thoughts below.

LOGAN, W.Va – United Citizens for Coal 10563222_674533305964419_4503646227473895732_nPresident Roger Horton has issued the following statement regarding Friday’s passage of the Omnibus Spending Bill by Congress.

“Over the past seven years, President Obama has systematically decimated the nation’s coal industry, destroying tens of thousands of jobs, bankrupting families, communities and threatening the economies of entire states.  Today the Congress passed an Omnibus Spending Bill that effectively removes budget concerns for the remainder of Obama’s term in office. It funded many of his pet projects, including funding to pursue the EPA’s war on coal and coal mining families.

“The bill passed the House overwhelmingly by a 316-113 vote, with 150 Republicans joining Democrats in passing the bill. The Senate later backed the bill by a 65-33 margin. Missing from the bill was any help for current coal miners, laid off coal miners or retirees who have lost or may lose the jobs, their pensions or their health care.  I guess when push came to shove; we weren’t important enough and ended up given away as a bargaining chip for something ‘more important.’”

“But our coal miners and their families, and most especially our retirees and children, are not bargaining chips. We are men and women who have worked hard to provide this nation with the standard of living so many others enjoy. We have given everything … and in far too many cases … we have given our lives, to feed the nation’s ever-growing need for energy, to fight our wars and build our cities.

“Every time we have been needed, we stepped up to the task and met the needs of this nation.  Today, our hard work was repaid yet again with ‘scrip’ – the worthless currency of Congressional promises.

“We are men and women, retirees and children who should not be worrying about whether we will have a job or a pension, or a roof over our heads, tomorrow. But due to this president and the sellout of our people by the National Democratic Party and, yes, by our union leadership, far too many of us spend all our days doing exactly that – worrying about tomorrow.

“And it isn’t just Obama and the Democrats.  The Republicans now control both houses of Congress. We expected much more from them by now. We expected all those bills that had been bottled up in Committee by the Democrats when they were in control – those bills that would have reversed the Obama war on coal – to have been quickly passed by Congress and vetoed by Obama so we could put pressure on our coal state Democrats for an override vote.  We may not have been successful, but at least we would see someone fighting for us.  Instead, we get the passage of an Omnibus Spending Bill that essentially gives away the budget leverage that could have been used to secure the passage of many of these bills.

“Today, I serve notice on the members of Congress. If you expect the votes of coal miners, we expect you to put our needs and those of our families first. This isn’t negotiable and our allegiance is NOT something you can take for granted.  The clock is ticking and you can very easily be voted out just as you were voted in.”

About

Citizens for Coal is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping maintain the vitality and productivity of the coal industry in West Virginia. Our organization consists of any member of the community that is involved directly or indirectly with the coal industry and understands its importance within our state’s economy.

Citizens for Coal is dedicated to promoting awareness and education of the importance of the coal industry for the continued growth and development of our state. As a group, we express our thoughts and concerns to law makers both at home and in our country’s capital whose decisions will have long-lasting impacts on our livelihoods. We foster a ‘we can’ mentality that reminds us all that together we can make a difference. We understand that coal can and should be mined using the most efficient and safe technologies to date. We take pride in the fact that as workers, we are well trained and skilled at our trades.

-30-

By Roger Horton, president
United Citizens for Coal

One of the most important events in our on-going fight against the Obama War on Coal10563222_674533305964419_4503646227473895732_n is happening in Charleston Thursday, September 17.   The U.S. Office of Surface Mining is holding a hearing on its new Stream Buffer Zone Rule.

The rule, if it goes into effect as it currently is written, may very well be the final nail in the coffin for coal mining in West Virginia. It would essentially make it impossible to perform any mining function anywhere near a stream. Many people would think this applies only to surface mining, but it also applies to building a new road or face up for an underground mine or anything that disturbs in any way the flow of water.

The 12,000-page rule is not just a “stream protection rule. The rule, like most of the others of the other s passed by the OSM and EPA as part of the Obama Administration’s assault on coal, completely ignores the intent of Congress in the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to minimize the effects of mining and substitutes a radical and unreasonable standard in which no changes at all are allowed to streams.
The rule is a job killer and make no mistake about it, it will wipe out the remaining coal jobs that have survived the seven years of this Administration’s assault on coal mining. In fact, the OSM’s own analysis of an earlier, and much more “modest” version of this plan estimates 7,000 coal miners will lose their jobs due to its implementation.  An independent analysis of this plan suggests the total job loss will be more like 80,000 jobs, most of them in the rural areas of our country, where alternatives to the jobs lost are virtually non-existent.

And consider this, this rule was written behind closed doors without any meaningful input from the states as required by law.
We simply can’t allow this rule to stand. We have to show up in Charleston on Thursday in force and make ourselves heard. And we need the support of our political leaders. I expect each and every one of our local and state political leaders to be at this hearing.  I expect them to LEAD our effort to turn back this latest assault on people.

There is no excuse for not being there. There is simply NOTHING more important than this meeting.  United Citizens for Coal is going to be there.  We won’t accept excuses. We won’t accept anything less than your full-throated support at this hearing.  It doesn’t matter if you are a US Senator, a member of the House of Representatives, the Legislature, the county commission or local dog catcher. YOU need to be there to let OSM know you won’t stand for this.
Think about this…. almost 8,100 West Virginia coal miners have lost their jobs since 2012, along with about 43,000 other people in support jobs. That is 35 percent of our mining workforce gone in just four years. Now they are saying this rule may cost another 7,000 mining jobs and 80,000 others? In Mingo County and McDowell County the unemployment rate is over 15 percent and it is over 10 percent in most of the rest of the coalfields.
TEN PERCENT!
We are seeing huge increases in child poverty and our communities are falling apart – plagued by drug abuse and crime – much of it brought on by the hopelessness many people feel as they watch their lives disappear.
The bottom line to everyone out there…. you are either with us or against us! Again it is that simple.
I don’t care if you have to hitchhike to Charleston. I don’t care if you have to miss a vote in Congress or drive three hours to get here.  The future of a single West Virginia coal miner is worth far more than your inconvenience.
We will be watching. We will know who is there and who is not. And that goes for our political leadership, our union leaders, our business leaders and everyone who has made a dollar or holds a position of trust due to the hard work or the vote of a coal miner and their families.
We need to fill the room at the Charleston Civic Center Thursday, September 17th at 5 pm.  If you need a ride, call me at 304.239.3780 and we will try to find you one.  The time for talking is gone. The time for action is now.
The time to be counted is now. Are you with us or against us?

-30-

By ROGER HORTON, president

United Citizens for Coal

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle10563222_674533305964419_4503646227473895732_n to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all,”  Ecclesiastes 9:11.

Sometimes we all get depressed. It’s hard not to when you look around and see the pain the past seven years has brought to our people and our region.  I don’t know how many of you know it, but I am a retiree from Patriot and like many of you, I am looking at the loss of my pension and my health care. This pain is very real to me as it is to you.

I am angry. The sad thing is that it is getting to the point that I can’t remember not being angry – not being worried about the future – not being tired.

Yes, I am tired. And I know that you are tired of fighting. I see it when we hold meetings that used to draw hundreds that now draw a couple of dozen. I see it in the faces I meet on the streets of Logan and Williamson and Man. I have watched grey hair and wrinkles take over familiar faces – including my own.

And when I am tired, worried and angry I have learned that there is solace to be found in the Bible. Earlier today, I was reading in the Book of Ecclesiastes and I saw the verse I included above. I have read it countless times but today it stood out.

“… The race is not to the swift,” the Preacher wrote.

Over the past few years, I know we have all at one point or another turned our eyes to heaven and asked why. Why is this happening to us? Why after I have given my life, my hard work and my health to make a good life for my family, is all of it being taken away? What can I do that I haven’t been doing?

The answer is found in the words above…

We just have to keep fighting. We have to get up and start taking the fight to those who are hurting us. They say God helps those who help themselves. We have to get up off the floor, shake ourselves off and get back in the ring.

And in the meantime, while we keep fighting, we have to begin LIVING again. We have to start reaching out to each other, helping each other, getting involved in our communities and working … working to make our communities just a little better. And if we do that we can make our communities and our lives just a little bit better tomorrow, and a little better the next day … and the next.

We can’t sit back and wait for someone to come and drop a Toyota Plant into our laps. We have to do what we can to build our own communities and address the problems that are all around us – the drug abuse, the petty theft, the prostitution….

We can clean up our communities. We can reach out to neighbors who are struggling and if nothing else let them know they aren’t alone.

We are starting Project Coalfields 2030. We are working to begin the process of turning our communities around. I’m not going to promise you that things will change overnight, but if we work together things WILL change. We WILL make a difference and things WILL get better.  And that’s what we all want.

We are also asking you to please come to the Charleston Civic Center on September 17th and attend the OSM’s hearing on the new Stream Buffer Zone Rule. This threatens to kill what surface mining remains in southern West Virginia and even threatens our underground operations. We need you.

Remember, “the race is not to the swift.”

Coal Commodity Region/Fuel  Avg. BTU  SO2  Price Price/mmBTU
Central Appalachia 12,500 1.2  $54.90 $2.20
Northern Appalachia 13,000 3  $53.20 $2.05
Illinois Basin 11,800 5  $34.35 $1.46
Powder River Basin   8,800 0.8  $11.55 $0.66
Uinta Basin 11,700 0.8  $39.35 $1.68
Natural Gas (Henry Hub)    n/a 0.01      n/a $2.75

By T.L. HEADLEY, MBA, MAT, MA

Coal production in the U.S. rose sharply for the week ending July 18, compared to the terryprevious week – continuing the positive trend of the past few weeks.  However production continues to fall short of last year according to the latest report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) for the week.
Production in the United States increased by 801,000 tons (4%) to finish the week at 16.40 million tons compared to last week’s total of 16.40 million tons. Meanwhile, production for the week is off by 2.24 million tons (11.5%) from the 19.44 million tons for the same week in 2014. Cumulative production for the year-to-date remains down as of July 18, coming in at 492.60 million tons compared to 538.54 million tons last year – a decline of 45.94 million tons or 8.5%. Production for the previous 52 weeks also trended lower – finishing at 951.19 million tons compared to 985.32 million tons for the same period ending in 2014 (-3.5%).
Mirroring the coal production, the number of coal rail car loadings increased, finishing the week up 21% from the previous week – 99,975 carloads from 82,924 carloads last year. However, loadings remain down sharply compared to the 2014 (-11.6%). Coal loadings also continued their decline year-to-date – off 9.4% from the same period in 2014.
Export and import data was not updated this week.
Electric output was up 6.5 percent compared to the same week in 2014, with 88 MWH of electricity produced compared to 82.61 MWH produced for the same period last year.
Domestic steel output was also up over the previous week.
According to numbers from the American Iron and Steel Institute, domestic raw steel production was up by 0.7% from the previous week, coming in at 1.75 million tons compared to 1.74 million tons last week with a capacity utilization factor of 73.3%.  However, steel production was down sharply from the same week last year, when 1.91 million tons were produced at a capacity utilization rate of 79.6%.  Steel production continues its slide year-to-date – down 7.7% to 48.7 million tons produced compared to 52.79 million tons for the same period last year.
In terms of regional coal production, all three major basins again reported higher production for the past week compared to the previous week, however all continue sharply lower compared to the same week in 2014.
The Appalachian Basin finished at 4.48 million tons, up from 4.28 million tons last week (+4%). Interior Basin production also finished up at 3.32 million tons compared to 3.16 million tons last week (+5%). Western production finished the week at 9.40 million tons from 8.96 million tons last week (+5%).  However production remains sharply below the same week in 2014. The Appalachian Basin is off by 12.9% from the same week last year. The Interior Basin is off 11.8% from 2014. And Western production is off 10.9% from the same period in 2014.
All three basins also continue to report significant declines in production year-to-date, with Appalachia down 12.6%, the Interior Basin off 7.2% and the Western Basin down 6.9%.
Looking at the previous 52 weeks, all three basins are trending lower for the period ending July 18, with the Appalachian Basin down 7.0%, the Interior Basin down 1.2% and the Western Region down 2.5%. Production in the Interior Basin fell to 180.95 million tons from 183.16 million tons for the same period in 2014. Appalachian production fell for the period to 248.65 million tons from 267.30 million tons. Meanwhile, Western production is down to 521.59 million tons from 534.87 million tons in 2014.
According to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training, coal production in the state now stands at 50.40 million tons through July 9. Of that total, 40.68 million tons was mined by underground operations and 9.71 million tons was produced by surface mining. A total of 112 mines are now reporting production through May 2015.
According to WV OMHST, coal mining employment in West Virginia has now dropped to 15,200 total miners, with 12,401 working underground and 2,799 working on surface operations. The office does not report data for contract miners or preparation plant workers on a weekly basis.
According to EIA, West Virginia coal production for the week totaled 1.96 million tons compared to 1.82 million tons for the previous week (+5.4%).  However, this is off by 12.8% from the same week in 2014.
Production increased in both the northern and southern coalfields of West Virginia compared to last week, by 4.9% in the northern field and 4.8% in the southern coalfields. Production is off in both areas year-to-date, by 1.1% and 17.7% respectively.
Coal production in Kentucky for the week ending July 18 was also up compared to the previous week but remains down from the same period in 2014. Kentucky production for the week was reported at 1.26 million tons, up from 1.20 million tons last week but down from the 1.51 million tons for the same week in 2014. Both the eastern and western regions of Kentucky reported significant increases in production from the previous week but the state continues to see significant declines in both fields year over year. Year to date, production in Kentucky is off by 16.2%. Meanwhile production in the state is off by 10.2% for the previous 52 weeks, with western Kentucky reporting an 8.6% decline and eastern Kentucky operations reporting a decline of 11.9% year-over-year.
Wyoming coal production was also up for the week, coming in at 6.83 million tons, compared to 6.52 million tons the previous week, but down from the 7.66 million tons produced for the same week in 2014 – a decline of 14.9%. For the previous 52 weeks, Wyoming production is down 2.0%.
Illinois production was up, finishing the week at 1.13 million tons compared to 1.08 million tons last week. Illinois production is also up by 13.1% for the previous 52 weeks. Indiana production is up as well, coming in at 651,000 tons compared to 621.000 tons for the same week in 2014. Indiana production is also down by 6.3% over the previous 52 weeks. Pennsylvania production for the week also finished up, to just 1.07 million tons versus 1.02 million tons for the previous week, but production in the Keystone State is now down slightly (0.9%) for the previous 52 weeks.
Ohio production also finished slightly higher – at 355,000 tons compared to 338,000 tons the previous week. Ohio coal production is off 17.4% year-to-date and down 13.5% for the previous 52 weeks, compared to the same period ending in 2014. Virginia production increased this week – to 235,000 tons compared to 224,000 tons for last week. Virginia production year-to-date is off by 16.6% and down for the previous 52 weeks by 14.5%.
Coal prices on the spot market held steady this week. Central Appalachian coal finished at $54.90 per ton or $2.20 per mmBtu. Northern Appalachian coal held at $53.20 per ton or $2.05 per mmBtu. Illinois Basin coal closed unchanged at $34.35 per ton or $1.46 per mmBtu, while Powder River Basin coal held at $11.55 per ton or $0.66 per mmBtu, and Uinta Basin coal prices were firm at $39.35 per ton or $1.68 per mmBtu.
Meanwhile, on the NYMEX Coal Futures board, Central Appalachian coal is up to $43.13 per ton compared to $41.03 per ton to last week, while Western Rail fell 1 cent to $10.04 per short ton and Eastern Rail coal is up to $42.33 per short ton.
Natural gas prices on the Henry Hub added 14 cents to finish the week at $2.89 per mmBtu. Natural gas producers again reported a significant increase in their stored reserves – up 99 billion cubic feet compared to the previous week, for a total of 2.77 trillion cubic feet in storage. This week’s working natural gas rotary rig count is up by 19 from last week to 876 working rigs. However, the count remains down by 1007 rigs from a year ago – down 53%. This number includes rigs working in both oil and gas plays.

By Roger Horton, president,
United Citizens for Coal
A few weeks ago I called out labor leaders for failing to get out of their cushy offices and 10563222_674533305964419_4503646227473895732_nactually fight for our coal miners and their families. Today I am calling out our state and local political leaders.
If you hold a political office in a coalfield state, this letter is directed at you. Listen up… your people are hurting!
Your communities are dying and we need more than smile and empty promises at a handful of public meetings every two years when you need our votes. We need you to LEAD this fight! We need you to be fighting for us 24-7-365!
Fighting for coal mining jobs is not a part-time job. It is most assuredly isn’t a damn political “position.” We can’t wait for the “next election” or even the “next legislative session.” We need you NOW!
Today, there are 17,000 coal miners who are out of work in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia!
17,000!
Think about that a minute…. let it sink in.
You and I both know the damage doesn’t stop there. For each of those 17,000 coal mining jobs there are another five jobs that depend on coal. So that means another 85,000 have been lost that depend on coal. And that $1.2 BILLION has been lost in wages for miners and another $3.4 BILLION for support jobs! That’s a total of $4.6 BILLION in lost wages! We should be having meetings and rallies every single day! You should be leading thousands to Washington – protesting in front of the White House and the EPA and making them see the damage their asinine policies are doing to our people!
But you know what? It seems like many of you have disappeared!
Oh, you show up when there is something in it for you – when you can get a quick mention on television, but when it comes down to the hard work of fighting for coal jobs, you are nowhere around. You were content to hop a bus and be seen or attend some public meetings at election time to make a few empty promises and maybe pick up a vote or two, but it has become clear that many, if not most, of you either don’t really care about our coal miners and their families or you don’t know what to do! Neither is acceptable.
We don’t expect miracles, but we DO expect YOU to fight for us!
Some of us fight this fight every single day! Some of us spend money out of our own pockets! We spend hours away from our families! And when we ARE home we are working to build support online, making phone calls and trying to do something to help. We’re happy to do it. But you know what? This is YOUR job!
YOU, our local and state political leaders of coalfield counties and every member of the state legislatures in our coalfield states – need to get up, get out here and really lead!
Now there ARE some of your who ARE leading and you deserve a mention. Sen. Shelley Capito has been out in front of this issue every day, creating the Congressional Coal Caucus and pushing legislation that will help preserve coal miners pensions. Rep. McKinley has been right there fighting for us and our jobs. Del. Rupie Phillips, State Senator Art Kirkendoll, Sen. Ron Stollings and others have created the Legislative Coal Caucus. But there is a LOT of work that still needs to be done.
We need extended unemployment benefits. Everyone else got them why not us? We need some programs to help us keep our houses, keep our kids in school and other programs to help us weather this storm. Some of our counties and communities need help meeting their payments, they need help keeping their schools open as taxes fall and they need help keeping basic services open.  I know it is hard to do more with less, but Obama created this mess, make him pay for it! And there is plenty of waste in state government. We ALL know that. Let’s cut the fat out of unnecessary programs and move the money over to programs that will help people.
This crisis is no longer “in the future” – it’s now! The horse has left the barn. Your communities are dying, some are already on the verge of bankruptcy and your people are desperate for your leadership! In fact, many of them have lost hope and that is perhaps the biggest tragedy of all. Because when that happens the problems with drugs, with alcoholism and crime all begin to tear apart the very fabric of our society. And make no mistake about it, that’s already happening.
Just today, CSX announced the layoff of 600 employees being cut from its Huntington division. That’s right – another 600 jobs lost in one day! And sadly this seems to be a daily occurrence now!
Let’s put politics as usual behind us.
So lead or get out of the way! We have no time to waste. Stand up for us and we will remember it!  It’s up to you! Fighting this war is NOT a political game. It is a life and death struggle for our very future! It’s time for our leaders to really LEAD!
P.S. And I would like to add one more thing. Shortly after I issued my challenge to our union leaders, a UMWA meeting was held and televised. That was two months ago. Since then, we have heard the sound of crickets chirping.  All the while there have been layoffs and more layoffs.  This is unacceptable.
Commodity Region/Fuel Avg. BTU SO2 Price Price/mmBTU
Central Appalachia 12,500 1.2 $52.75 $2.11
Northern Appalachia 13,000 3 $58.75 $2.26
Illinois Basin 11,800 5 $40.45 $1.71
Powder River Basin 8,800 0.8 $11.55 $0.66
Uinta Basin 11,700 0.8 $39.20 $1.66
Natural Gas (Henry Hub) n/a 0.01 n/a $2.90

By T.L. HEADLEY, MBA, MA

CHARLESTON – Coal production in the U.S. continued its recovery this week, up just short of another million tons over the previous week. However production continues to be down from last year – off 12.2% from last year’s levels (18.5 million tons), according to the latest report from the Energy Information Agency (NYSEMKT:EIA) for the week ending June 20.

Production in the United States rose by 926 thousand tons (6.1%) to finish the week at 16.28 million tons compared to last week’s total of 15.36 million tons. Production for the week, however, is off by 2.07 million tons (12.2%) from the 18.54 million tons for the same week in 2014. Cumulative production for the year-to-date is also down sharply as of June 20, coming in at 425.67 million tons compared to 464.24 million tons last year – a decline of 38.53 million tons or 8.5%. Production for the previous 52 weeks also trended lower – finishing at 957.82 million tons compared to 984.70 million tons for the same period ending in 2014 (-2.5%).

The number of rail car loadings remains down sharply, finishing the week off 13.3% from the same period last year. Rail car loadings also continued their decline year-to-date – off 8.5% from the same period in 2014. However, coal rail car loadings were up 6%, or 5,401 carloads, from the previous week, breaking a streak of three straight weeks where volumes were below 90,000 carloads.

Coal export/import data was not updated this week.

Electric output was up 1.4 percent compared to the same week in 2014. With 84.97 MWH of electricity produced compared to 83.79 MWH produced for the same period last year.

Domestic steel output, however, continued it’s near freefall this week.

According to numbers from the American Iron and Steel Institute, domestic raw steel production was down 8.8% for the week, at 1.72 million tons, with a capacity utilization factor of 73%, compared to the same week in 2014. And steel production continues its slide year-to-date – down 7.4% to 41.84 million tons produced compared to 45.17 million tons for the same period last year. The continuing slide in domestic steel production is fueled by a sluggish economy as well as increased imports of steel, much of it from China and South Korea.

In terms of regional coal production, all three basins reported significant increases in production over the past week compared to the previous week; however all remain down sharply compared to the same week in 2014.

The Appalachian Basin finished at 4.46 million tons, ticking up from 4.20 million tons last week (up 6%). Interior Basin production also finished up, at 3.07 million tons compared to 2.90 million tons last week (up 5%). Western production finished the week at 8.75 million tons from 8.25 million tons last week (up 6%). However, these numbers are sharply below the same week in 2014. The Appalachian Basin is off by 16% from the same week last year. The Interior Basin is off 9.2% from 2014. And Western production is off 11.7% from the same period in 2014.

All three basins also continue to report significant declines in production year-to-date, with Appalachia down 10.2%, the Interior Basin off 7.4% and the Western Basin down 7.9%.

Looking at the previous 52 weeks, all three basins are trending lower for the period ending June 20, with the Appalachian Basin down 4.8%, the Interior Basin down 0.6% and the Western Region down 2.5%. Production in the Interior Basin fell to 181.84 million tons from 182.86 million tons for the same period in 2014. Appalachian production fell for the period to 254.26 million tons from 266.94 million tons. Meanwhile, Western production is down to 521.73 million tons from 534.91 million tons in 2014.

According to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training, coal production in the state now stands at 43.35 million tons through June 23. Of that total, 34.78 million tons was by underground operations and 8.57 million tons was produced by surface mining. A total of 111 mines are now reporting production through April 2015.

According to WV OMHST, coal mining employment in West Virginia has now dropped to 15,373 total miners, with 12,517 working underground and 2,856 working on surface operations. The office does not report data for contract miners or preparation plant workers on a weekly basis.

According to EIA, West Virginia coal production for the week totaled 1.86 million tons compared to 1.76 million tons for the previous week. However, this is off by 15.5% from the same week in 2014.
Production rose slightly in both the northern and southern coalfields of West Virginia compared to last week, by 6 percent in both areas, however year-to-date, production is off by 3.2% and 16.2% respectively.

Coal production in Kentucky for the week ending June 20 was also up slightly compared to the previous week but remains down sharply from the same period in 2014. Kentucky production for the week was reported at 1.25 compared to 1.18 million tons last week and 1.50 million tons for the same week in 2014. Both the eastern and western regions of Kentucky reported solid increases in production over the previous week; however the state continues to see significant declines in both fields year over year. Year to date, production in Kentucky is off by 11.6%. Meanwhile production in the state is off by 6.8% for the previous 52 weeks, with western Kentucky reporting a 6.2% decline and eastern Kentucky operations reporting a decline of 7.8% year-over-year.

Wyoming coal production was up for the week compared to 2014, coming in at 6.32 million tons, compared to 5.96 million tons the previous week, but was down from the 7.12 million tons produced for the same week in 2014 – a decline of 11.3%. For the previous 52 weeks, Wyoming production is down 3%. Illinois production remains down, finishing the week at 997,000 tons compared to 1.03 million tons last year. Indiana production is down as well, coming in at 627,000 tons compared to 728,000 tons for the week in 2014. Pennsylvania production for the week finished down slightly, to 1.10 million tons versus 1.18 million tons for the same week in 2014, but remains up 4.9% for the previous 52 weeks. Ohio production is off as well – at 359,000 tons compared to 476,000 tons in 2014. Ohio coal production is off 12.8 percent for the previous 52 weeks, compared to the same period ending in 2014. Virginia production was also off this week – to 236,000 tons compared to 298,000 tons for the same week in 2014. Virginia production for the previous 52 weeks is off by 13.3 percent.

Coal prices on the spot market were unchanged this week. Central Appalachian coal held at $52.75 per ton or $2.11 per mmBtu. Northern Appalachian coal held at $58.75 per ton or $2.26 per mmBtu. Illinois Basin coal prices held at $40.45 per ton or $1.71 per mmBtu, while Powder River Basin coal remained steady at $11.55 per ton or $0.66 per mmBtu, and Uinta Basin coal prices held firm at $39.20 per ton or $1.66 per mmBtu.

Meanwhile, on the NYMEX Coal Futures board, Central Appalachian coal was trading at $41.13 per ton while Western Rail was selling at $10.09 per short ton and Eastern Rail was selling at $40.78 per short ton.

Natural gas prices on the Henry Hub finished the week up slightly at $2.90 per mmBtu. Natural gas producers again reported a significant increase in their stored reserves – up 111 billion cubic feet compared to the previous week, for a total of 2.43 trillion cubic feet in storage. This week’s working natural gas rotary rig count remained at 857, down by two from last week and by 1001 rigs from a year ago – down 54%. This number includes rigs working in both oil and gas plays.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

We Are the Forgotten

The Truth About Mountaintop Mining

RSS Coal Age

  • Feds Further Fund REEs-From-Coal Tech Research August 17, 2017
    The federal government announced Wednesday $17.4 million in possible funding for research into technologies that extract rare earth elements (REEs) from coal and coal waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected four projects to potentially receive the funds to test plans and designs made with the help of a previous phase of DOE grant money. 
    ca@coalage.com (Coal Age)
  • Contura Withdraws IPO August 10, 2017
    Contura Energy has withdrawn the initial public offering (IPO) of its shares of common stock due to capital market conditions. The company’s principal selling stockholders unanimously determined that proceeding with the offering under current market conditions would undervalue the company. 
    info@coalage.com (Coal Age News)
  • Cloud Peak Hosts EPA Administrator Pruitt August 10, 2017
    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the Cloud Peak Energy’s headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado, to discuss the agency’s priorities and steps taken during the first six months of the administration and also to hear how the end of the former President Barack Obama administration’s “war on coal” has positively impacted coa […]
    info@coalage.com (Coal Age News)
  • CPSA Launches CoalProTec August 10, 2017
    The Coal Preparation Society of America (CPSA) plans to host its first conference, Coal Processing Technology (CoalProTec), during April 23-25, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. The association has taken the action to fill a continuing education void created by Penton, when it decided to discontinue Coal Prep. For those involved in coal processing, 2017 was the […]
    ca@coalage.com (Coal Age)
  • Chinese Coal and Power Giants to Merge August 4, 2017
    China’s largest coal company plans to merge with a power giant to boost the nation’s thermal power reform, according to the Shanghai Daily. China Guodian Corp., one of the nation’s five largest power groups, said its merger plan with China Shenhua Energy Co. has been proposed to the state council, or cabinet. Such a plan would create China’s largest power co […]
    info@coalage.com (Coal Age News)

RSS The State Journal

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Fox News