Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) released the following statement regarding the news that coal producer Alpha Natural Resources will be cutting production and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania:
"The announcement of layoffs in Buchanan and Wise, added to the layoffs of two weeks ago at Consol, makes this already extremely disappointing news all the more troubling. Certainly, the coal industry, like so many other industries, experiences natural ups and downs. In today's market, natural gas is plentiful and cheaper than coal, so in many instances it is being used as a substitute for coal. But, the fact that the coal industry has ups and downs isn't news.
"The newsworthy issue lies with the additional burdens the Obama Administration is placing on folks like Alpha. As I've said before, President Obama, his Administration, and his allies – like MoveOn.org and the Sierra Club – are all very clear about their agenda – make using coal history. Take a minute to think about that. A group of government bureaucrats have decided the coal industry isn't something that they like, so they're going to try to force it out of business. This is appalling and it must stop. I and others in Congress will fight them. For all the hundreds of hard working men and women miners affected by today's news and impacted by this agenda, please know that I stand with you. I'm proud to represent you. I'm proud to stand with coal. And I will continue to relentlessly fight against President Obama and all those who wage war on the coal industry."