Obamas' impact on Eastern Kentucky

Obamas' impact on Eastern Kentucky

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Shelbyville, KY

#1 Feb 16, 2013
->->Coal tax drop could bring layoffs, tax increases to Eastern Kentucky counties

****As world demand for coal surges, Eastern Kentucky output plunges

By Sean Cockerham — Herald-Leader Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Eastern Kentucky coal country is filled with people competing for non-existent jobs, tied to the area by family and unable to sell their homes even if they want to leave.

People such as 50-year-old Frank Dixon, who was laid off from a coal mine right before Christmas. He has a son in college, another in high school and a mother in failing health. Dixon has worked in the coal industry since he was 21 years old, and he's struggling to figure out how to make a living.

"I've been looking for a job. But there are so many miners laid off in this area that wherever you go there's already been 20 or 25 other people there looking for the same job, or for any job," Dixon said.

While Dixon and thousands of others in the United States have lost their jobs, coal is booming in the rest of the world.->->The International Energy Agency's latest report forecasts that coal will become the world's dominant fuel, with global burning of the fossil fuel rising by 1.2 billion tons over the next four years.

That's the equivalent of adding the existing coal consumption of the U.S. and Russia combined. The agency's executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, said coal made up a greater share of the global energy mix every year. "If no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade," van der Hoeven said.

The agency says America's glut of cleaner, cheap natural gas is pushing out the use of coal in the United States. It considers that a good thing, saying that the rest of the world should learn from the American experience of how to reduce coal use and lower the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

"Europe, China and other regions should take note," van der Hoeven concluded.(GOOD NEWS THEY WILL HAVE SAME QUALITY OF LIFE BEING COMMUNISTS- NOT SO IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY)

The agency expects that coal demand will grow in every region of the world — except the United States.

->->Coal companies have laid off nearly 2,100 miners in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield since January 2012, according to statistics from the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program.

However, that number was taken from layoff notices that companies filed with the state or gave to the employment program. Not all companies reported their layoffs, so the number of miners who have lost jobs in EKCEP's 23-county area is likely much higher, said Michael Cornett, spokesman for the jobs program.

->->The layoffs have pushed the unemployment rate above 14 percent in some Eastern Kentucky counties — well above the overall state rate of 8.1 percent, Cornett said.

->->The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that coal production in Central Appalachia will be half as much in 2018 as it was in 2010.

Shelbyville, KY

#2 Feb 16, 2013

Some Eastern Kentucky counties are bracing for an expected continued decline in coal jobs.***->->The loss of tax revenue from coal production is creating million-dollar budget shortfalls for county governments struggling to pay their bills.

Coal-burning power plants are closing or switching to natural gas. Even the Big Sandy electric power plant, in the heart of Kentucky's coal country, plans to shut its coal-burning boilers rather than retrofit the plant to meet environmental regulations. The Sierra Club counts ->->54 coal plants that closed or announced plans to close in 2012, and 11 more in just the first month of this year, reacting to the nation's natural gas boom and tighter environmental regulations.

That leaves 384 coal-burning power plants in the United States, according to the Sierra Club, down from 521 the group tallied at the beginning of 2010. Coal accounted for more than half of America's power generation four years ago and is now down to about a third, similar to the amount that natural gas fuels.

At the same time, coal is on the rise globally. Even**->-> Europe, which touts green energy initiatives, is increasingly burning coal because it's cheaper than available alternatives and because of a distaste for nuclear power in the wake of Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster.->-> Most American coal exports are going to Europe.

But the global growth for coal is projected to come from India and particularly China, a nation that accounted for a whopping 87 percent of the 374 million-ton increase in worldwide coal burning in 2011, according to U.S. energy data. Coal has fueled China's economic rise.

China is now burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

American coal companies are hoping that foreign demand will fill the gap left by the shrinking use of coal at home. But exports to China and India aren't going to reverse the decline of the Central Appalachian coalfield, which includes the century-old industry in Eastern Kentucky, said James Stevenson, a coal analyst with the economic forecaster IHS Global Insight. The easiest coal in the region has already been mined, analysts say, and what's left are thinner seams that are more difficult.

"It's just really too expensive to out-compete the alternatives China and India have," Stevenson said.

Five coal export terminals are proposed in Washington State and Oregon, meant for exports of coal from mines in the Western United States to Asian nations. But they've met controversy in communities worried about the noise of coal trains and the climate impact. Stevenson said China had closer sources of coal and wouldn't need that much from America.

A deal to export Kentucky coal to India was announced with great fanfare last summer. But its future is unclear, with the first shipment months behind schedule.

Easier places for India to get its coal are South Africa and new mines being developed in Mozambique, Morgan said. He said the good news for U.S. coal was there should be continued foreign demand for the high-grade metallurgical coal, found in West Virginia and places in Kentucky, that's used to make steel.

But the forecast is tougher for producers of the central Appalachian coal that for generations supported Eastern Kentucky jobs and fueled American power plants.

Laid-off Kentucky coal worker Dixon said he believed that tight Environmental Protection Agency rules had led to the closure of the surface mine where he worked. "The EPA is playing such a hard role in it, and that's kind of a good thing.->->But it's kind of put us completely out of work," Dixon said.

"This area here, everything, hospitals all the way down to the dollar store, always depended on coal mining.***It's just terrible, really, really terrible. It's dried up," he said.


Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#3 Feb 20, 2013
not exactly accurate wisdumb, the environmental measures you are referring to were passed decades ago, perhaps you've heard of the Clean Air Act? None of the targets have been met by previous administrations but finally this administration is attempting to comply with legislation and protect the environment. The coal industry in Eastern Kentucky is being hit mostly because of the type of coal found there. You are so smart I'm sure you are aware of the 3 main different types of coal. Lignite, Bituminous and Anthracite, the problem at least for Eastern Kentucky is that bituminous coal is the primary type of coal. While not as high in sulfur as lignite, bituminous is still very high and produces less btu's than anthricite. Where this impacts our region of the nation is the sulfur content. Sulfur is responsible for the acidification of rain among other adverse environmental affects. You are probably already aware that power plants have a set limit on the amount of sulfur emmissions they are permitted to release into the atmosphere, you being so smart and all. I'm also sure that nearly every year those same companies have exceeded those allowable amounts for decades. This is really a simplified explaination of the problem, also compounding the cutback of jobs(and this is really the primary reason)is the cheap availability of natural gas, which has less pollutants and MOST importantly is CHEAPER. Something else, I have a friend in Alabama that works in the coal fields there. Funny thing, his mines are working harder than ever to keep up wth demand. Why? you ask. I'm glad you asked. It's not the answer many in Kentucky would like to believe. You see, the coal they mine in Alabama is arthracite, a much more clean type of coal than the predominant bituminous found in Eastern Kentucky.

I'm not a fan of mining of any kind. I think the impacts to the earth are much greater than the benefits we receive. I am not against Eastern Kentucky and I am not necessarily for this administration but I cannot help but notice a pronounced habitual tendency to blame this administration with half truths and incomplete understanding whether it is intentional or merely accidental I cannot say with any degree of certainty.
single payer

Derry, PA

#4 Feb 20, 2013
Serves them right for living outside of northern ky. Stupid people living the hills with their first grade education and lack of effort to better themselves. Except some handout from the government to keep their coal going what a bunch of dolts.

Shelbyville, KY

#5 Feb 20, 2013
The Obama administration and his EPA regs have put Eastern Ky coal miners in this position. In fact during Obamas' first campaign he said he would go after coal and anyone wanting to start a coal mine would be met with regulatory obstructions and would go bankrupt.

Billy, glad to see you are willing to pay higher taxes to support Obama policies in addition to higher taxes on ObamaCare and the cutting of part time wage earners hours and thrust into medicaid, and support the higher costs of living associated with this administration. As long as YOU FEEL GOOD and your psyche is unharmed it is all good in your world. Enjoy sending more of your paycheck to those non-workers, those losing hours, those claiming disability after unemployment runs out- because you are increasing helping the government create the dependency class, a nation of government dependent sheeple. By your vote, you are supporting these action. Makes you proud, perhaps a road trip to Harlan should be in your future.

Shelbyville, KY

#6 Feb 20, 2013
A little more expensive on the front end, wonder how much taxes will be added to goods and services (AT EVERY STEP OF THE MANUFACTURING AND DELIVERY) when Barry gets his carbon tax.

Barry is taking money from the private sector to feed an ever expanding government, this in turn ( Carbon tax) will greatly hinder the economy because it will add costs to everything. Then on top of that if this idiot raises minimum wage, good bye value menus, it will be dollars value menu.

It is time to admit he is an arrogant, elitist, tax and spend liberal hell bent on putting as many Americans on his plantation of government dependency while he courts and creates a new class of Americans out of the illegal immigrants. Also dependent and owned by the democratic party. Sheeple, dependent on the government teat.

During a Friday Google+ hangout session, President Barack Obama conceded that his policies to address climate change will->-> raise energy costs, a fact that could prove uncomfortable for Democrats in areas reliant on fossil fuel power plants:
I have to tell you that there are some Democrats, for example, who represent states or districts that are heavily reliant on old power plants and are more heavily manufacturing based. And the truth is that if you produce power using old power plants, you’re going to be emitting more carbon, but, to upgrade those plants means energy is going to be a little more expensive, at least on the front end.( OH, AND CUT JOBS IN THOSE AREAS AS WELL.)

This is not the first time Obama has admitted to supporting price-raising energy policies. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said he was fine with soaring energy prices so long as they helped curb green house gas emissions.“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” he said.


Cleveland, GA

#7 Feb 20, 2013
When has the coal industry ever brought wealth to Eastern Kentucky? It hasn't. This part of the country has always been dirt poor. The coal industry doesn't help the economy, it sucks wealth out, not to mention the disastrous health impact that mountain top removal mining has.

Shelbyville, KY

#8 Feb 20, 2013
Nope, the paychecks are really a nuisance to those who WORK and earn them. I guess you prefer they be on the unemployment lines pulling from your check. Take a look at the schools in that side of the state-palaces. Look at the cars they can afford, or rather the trucks.

Sorry you fail to mention the impact on mine reclamation on the impact after the surface mining...just like oil drilling you prefer it be out of sight where any accidents are catastrophes.

Send your checks to anyone in appalachia and they will be happy to live off of you. Me, I prefer they work and produce energy for American businesses to use and produce more American goods and jobs. Then, their children can go to UPike and move away from there and live better than previous generations. You would prefer they be a part of the government teat cycle, apparently.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#9 Feb 20, 2013
wizdumb obviously never worked in the mines. Yeah, those workers were paid a check but let's look at that for a moment. The pay was always just enough for a man to work until his body was broken and his health was gone by then his sons and nephews were old enough to go to work in the mine. All the while the water in the well smells worse and worse and the creeks aren't fit to take a fish from. The person that spoke about the wealth being drained from the region was right on.

Anyone care to guess who owns the mineral rights to the lands with the biggest deposits of natural gas? Wizdumb, you care to take a stab? I know, it's the same owners of the coal company that is claiming "poor broke us", "Obama is taking OUR livelyhood". It really is a shame you misrepresent and distort the truth.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#10 Feb 20, 2013
Wizdimb, I have a question for you. Try to answer with anything other than a cut a paste.

In regards to protecting our environment,'if not now, when?'.

If now is not the time to do something to try to save something for the future, when? It is evident that we are destroying our planet and human interests always trump the natural but now we are starting to realize that our immediate/expedient satisfaction is impacting our future.

Is this world here only to allow humanity to use until there is nothing left?
no way

Branchland, WV

#11 Feb 20, 2013
ok then

Shelbyville, KY

#12 Feb 20, 2013
The real question is which drives the economy of the world business or environmental fanaticism? Yes, business should be responsible stewards of the land, but at what point do we say enough to over-regulation. At what point is the burden of the government so great that we lose business to over-seas interests with less restrictions, lower waged workers and a lower corporate tax base.

This administration is doing all they can to kill American entepreneurship and business development. They owe their allegiance to the voters they can create and the unions that can help drive their minions to the voting booth. This administration seeks to secure as much of the private sector income and wealth as they can so they can reward those who pay homage to the liberal democrat party. Sorry- Socialism is Not MY RELIGION, Big Government IS NOT MY CHURCH and OBAMA IS NOT MY GOD. You need to wake up or be prepared for your sheeple fleecing.

How illogical is it to think that America can save the worlds' environment when you look at the productivity and lack of environmental regulations in other countries such as Russia, China and India. Are we not one world, isn't it naive to think that we can save the planet while we give away the economic base that made us a first class economy?

Lastly, isn't it slightly "STOOOPID" to be forced to use a lightbulb in place of the incandescent light bulb that contains enough mercury that when it breaks it should be treated as a Hazmat issue- nothing like dumping all that heavy metal into our landfills for future generations to have to deal with...

I guess you libs want us lock step with environmental fanaticism, surrender our second amendment rights, allow illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, be forced to swallow political correct speech, and for all those who work surrender more and more of our income to those who do less and less- I guess that is the liberal utopia of which you seek.

Shelbyville, KY

#13 Feb 20, 2013
case in point- simple easy to follow directions on CFL light bulb breakage..

If a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) accidentally breaks in the home, stay calm. It is not an emergency. You can do the clean-up yourself if you follow the information in this fact sheet.
CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, about the size of a pen point. Mercury forms a vapor that you can inhale. If a bulb breaks, it needs to be cleaned up properly to protect everyone in the house.
Before Cleaning Up
Using CFLs can reduce energy bills and help save the environment.
1. Keep infants, small children, pregnant women, and pets out of the room where the bulb broke.
2. If you are pregnant, do not do the clean-up yourself. Find someone to do the clean-up for you.
3. Turn off forced hot air heat, central air conditioners, and fans.
4. Open windows to allow fresh air in.
5. Leave the room for at least 15 minutes to allow the room to air out before beginning clean-up. During this time read thru these instructions and gather the supplies you will need for cleanup.
Before You Go Back To The Area
Gather the following supplies:
• Disposable gloves
• Flashlight
• Duct tape or other sticky tape
• 2 index cards or stiff pieces of paper
• Zip-lock bags
• Damp paper towels or rags
• Portable window fan (optional)
Clean-Up Steps
Keep people and pets out of the room where the bulb broke. This will prevent them from potentially inhaling mercury vapor and from tracking mercury to other parts of the house on shoes or paws. Infants, small children, and pregnant women are the most susceptible to mercury vapor, so special care should be taken to keep them out of the room.
During the initial clean-up, it is important to avoid vacuuming, sweeping, and using metal dust pans.
;Do Not Sweep
Do Not Use Metal Dust Pans
Do Not Vacuum
If a CFL breaks on a hard surface like tile, hardwood or linoleum floor, do the following:
1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 6.
7. 8.
10. 11.
Close the door to the room being cleaned if possible.
Put on disposable gloves.
Carefully pick up all large pieces of glass, and put them in a zip-lock bag.
Use index cards or stiff pieces of paper to push tiny bits of glass, powder, and other debris into small piles. Carefully lift each pile and place into a zip-lock bag(s).[This step is not applicable to carpet/area rug clean-up]
Use sticky tape to pat the remaining debris. Try to pick up as much glass and powder as you can. Replace with new pieces of tape when the stickiness diminishes.
Shine a bright flashlight in and around the area to look for glittering bits of glass or mercury. Pat the area with sticky tape again until you do not see any more glittering with the flashlight.
Put used tape and stiff cards into a zip-lock bag(s).
Pat the area with damp paper towels or rags to further clean-up debris. Put the used paper towels, rags, and gloves in the zip-lock bag with other debris.
When you are finished with the clean-up, put the zip-lock bags in an outdoor trashcan immediately. Getting the waste out of the house right away is an important safety step.
Wash your hands and face after the waste has been removed from the house.
Continue to ventilate the room for as long as possible (at least several hours). In addition to opening windows, a portable fan may be placed in a window with the air blowing to the outside to help exhaust the “dirty air” out of the building.

Shelbyville, KY

#14 Feb 20, 2013
Part 2. Energy fanaticism and environmental idiocy...

Carpets/Area Rugs:
If a CFL breaks on carpeting or area rugs, it can be either treated in place or removed from the home. Either way, you will need to follow steps 1-11 under “Hard Surfaces” page 2.
If the carpet is left in place, the area should be ventilated during and after the removal of debris. Clean-up visible debris on the carpet by following steps 1-11 under “Hard Surfaces” page 2.
The small amount mercury inside of a CFL can penetrate carpet and continue to be emitted at very low levels for a long time. This may continue even after the initial clean- up. If a CFL breaks on carpeting, consider removing the section of carpet where the breakage occurred, especially if young children or pregnant women frequently use this room. If the bulb breaks on an area rug, consider discarding the entire rug.
Disposal and Transportation after Removal
• Dispose of a carpet/area rug contaminated by a broken CFL by carefully rolling it up and placing it in a large plastic bag. You can also use several plastic bags duct taped together to wrap around the carpet. Place it in an outdoor trashcan right away.
• If you will be transporting it to the dump in your vehicle, keep it outside until you make the trip. Make sure the rug is wrapped in plastic so it cannot contaminate your vehicle.
Furniture with Fabric Covering:
If a CFL Breaks on a soft surface like an upholstered couch, chair, or bed, do the following:
1. Follow steps 1-11 described under “Hard Surfaces” page 2.
2. When finished, you may want to consider placing the item outdoors (in the sunlight if possible) to air out. A covered porch or garage can also work in inclement weather. Do this for as long as possible (at least several hours).
House Cleaning/Vacuuming
The next several times you do your regular house cleaning/vacuuming in the room where the CFL broke, follow the directions below.
1. Keep children, pregnant women and pets out of the room.
2. Turn off forced hot air heat/central air conditioners, and fans before vacuuming.
3. Open the windows to ventilate the room for several hours during and after vacuuming.
&# 65532; 3
4. After vacuuming the carpet or area rug, the vacuum cleaner may contain a small amount of mercury. Therefore, remove the vacuum bag and place it into a zip-lock bag or other type of sealable plastic bag.
5. If using a bagless vacuum, empty the collection cup into a zip-lock bag and wipe the inside of the cup with a damp paper towel or rag. Put the used paper towels/rags into zip-lock bags for disposal.
6. When you are finished with the clean-up, immediately put the zip-lock bags in an outdoor trashcan. Getting the waste out of the house right away is an important safety step.
Health Effects
Health experts do not expect to see illness from exposure to broken CFLs in most people. This is because CFLs contain such a small amount of mercury. However, even small exposures can affect the developing brain and central nervous system in fetuses and young children. This is why pregnant women and young children should stay out of a room where a CFL has broken until several days after the clean-up.
Symptoms related to mercury exposure include increased irritability, nervousness, shyness, tremors, and changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems. These symptoms are not generally seen from a broken CFL exposure, but may be seen in people exposed to large amounts mercury vapor.
Tips To Prevent Breaking CFLs In the Home
􏰀 Consider not using CFLs in playrooms, children’s bedrooms, and other areas where there may be an increased chance of bulb breakage.
􏰀 Consider putting a drop cloth on the floor when changing CFLs.
􏰀 Consider not storing too many spent CFLs in the home before recycling. This reduces the
chance of accidental breakages.

Contrasted to: traditional light breaks- get broom and dustpan.
fellow american

Morehead, KY

#15 Feb 21, 2013
What about mountain side removal? Do you support or are you against it?
coal miner

Morehead, KY

#16 Feb 21, 2013
aka will wrote:
wizdumb obviously never worked in the mines. Yeah, those workers were paid a check but let's look at that for a moment. The pay was always just enough for a man to work until his body was broken and his health was gone by then his sons and nephews were old enough to go to work in the mine. All the while the water in the well smells worse and worse and the creeks aren't fit to take a fish from. The person that spoke about the wealth being drained from the region was right on.
Anyone care to guess who owns the mineral rights to the lands with the biggest deposits of natural gas? Wizdumb, you care to take a stab? I know, it's the same owners of the coal company that is claiming "poor broke us", "Obama is taking OUR livelyhood". It really is a shame you misrepresent and distort the truth.
I used to work in a coal mine until I got layed off in November. I loved the job. I made over $22 an hour. I worked at a saw mill when I was 18. It is way worse than a coal mine. Working at a coal mine, I have seen people foolishly waste their money on frivolous things just like back in the 90's during the telecommunications boom. They think it will never end, live paycheck to paycheck. I do not feel sorry for these so called "poor" people.

Shelbyville, KY

#17 Feb 21, 2013
Nevertheless, they earned the money honestly, it was theirs to spend however they felt. As opposed to taking money from your current pay check and having to pay for their unemployment, food stamps, etc.- I think you would agree it is better to have an individual working than on the dole. It is not for you to judge how any person spends their earnings, as there are many individuals living pay check to pay check because of the economy and their desire for a better lifestyle than they can afford....do you judge them as well?
need help

Newburgh, IN

#18 Feb 22, 2013
need a job ..thanks

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#19 Feb 22, 2013
coal miner wrote:
<quoted text>I used to work in a coal mine until I got layed off in November. I loved the job. I made over $22 an hour. I worked at a saw mill when I was 18. It is way worse than a coal mine. Working at a coal mine, I have seen people foolishly waste their money on frivolous things just like back in the 90's during the telecommunications boom. They think it will never end, live paycheck to paycheck. I do not feel sorry for these so called "poor" people.
that really illustrates my point.$22/hr isn't worth risking your life everyday in a job where you are breaking your back and breathing coal everyday. Is $22/hr good enough? Maybe for you but not for me. The median income in 2006 was just over $50k per year, for a job with the inherent dangers associated with that profession including higher incidence of cancer and work related fatality and disease $22/hr is not quite $50k/year. In my opinion that's less than equitable.
single payer

Vienna, WV

#21 Feb 23, 2013
The median income in Floyd county is probably closer to 20k and these people don't really have many choices. A MAN will do a lot of shit to support his family.

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