Working toward the Goal!

From The Charleston Gazette, “Consol layoffs threaten Clay economy“:

Consol Energy on Tuesday gave official notice that it could lay off 482 workers and idle mountaintop removal mining at its Fola Coal Co. and Little Eagle Coal Co. operations near Bickmore in Clay County.

And from a news release from Consol, “CONSOL Energy’s Fola Operations To Be Idled“:

“It is unfortunate that, at a time when reliable and affordable energy is so desperately needed to reinvigorate our economy, that the nation’s energy industries are coming under repeated assault from nuisance lawsuits and appeals of environmental regulations,” said Nicholas J. DeIuliis, CONSOL Energy executive vice president and chief operating officer. “It is CONSOL Energy’s policy to operate our coal and gas assets safely and within the framework of the laws regulating our industry, but we oppose any efforts to use them to unnecessarily impede our ability to sustain our operations.

“To put it into human terms, we are talking about the jobs of nearly 500 of our employees at the Fola Operations, and the impact such legal interpretations will have on their quality of life and that of their families,” DeIuliis noted, adding that for each job in coal mining, several additional support jobs are adversely affected.

In addition, DeIuliis said that the long-term economic viability of the Fola Operations remains uncertain due to adverse market conditions for the coal product mined there.

“It is challenging enough to operate our coal and gas assets in the current economic downturn without having to contend with a constant stream of activism in rehashing and reinterpreting permit applications that have already been approved or in the inequitable oversight of our operations,” DeIuliis said. “Customers will grow reluctant to deal with energy producers they perceive are unable to guarantee a reliable supply due to regulatory uncertainty. It inhibits the ability to remain competitive.”

As our post below notes, the recession has already reduced U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by half. The Consol announcement brings us ever closer to achieving Copenhagen’s goal.

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