Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Pain Has Started For The Coal Miners

A mostly overlooked statement in last month's employment report was on page 3:
"Employment in mining continued to decline in September ( -10,000), with losses concentrated in support  activities for mining ( -7,000). Mining employment has declined by 102,000 since reaching a peak in  December 2014."
President Obama's regulation of the coal-fired power industry is finally starting to damage the livelihood of thousands of miners and other workers in related industries.  But, the pain for the coal miner will be especially acute when compared to other people in other professions who will also lose their jobs.

First of all, most coal miners live in towns that expressly exist because of the mine.  Stores, gasoline stations, churches, schools, police and fire departments, are all at risk if it has to shut down.  Homeowners are potentially destined to live in ghost towns. The complete loss of home values is inevitable.  With the average age of a coal miner being 44, the thought of starting over someplace else, with no money to buy another home has to be overwhelming.  Business owners will also see the value of their businesses and buildings fall to zero.

The average coal miner is well-paid at roughly $83,700.  Pretty good money when you consider that 75% only have a high school diploma. However, having to restart in a different profession with only a high school education will be difficult since the average wage at that level is half what they are getting now.  Too, having no experience in a new endeavor certainly insures a lower wage, short of the average high school graduate.

So, what is Obama's solution to the economic strife that he has caused these workers? Go on welfare.  But, what about all the others who will also lose their jobs. Those in the lumber industry that provide the support beams used in the mines?  Those in the rail and trucking industries whose jobs depend on coal transportation to the power plants?  There will be a massive ripple effect as a result of this one industry being shutdown by the President and his EPA.

I personally believe that all unions in the country should join the coal miners in an effort to stop Obama from proceeding any further with his "no more coal" mentality.


THE  EMPLOYMENT  SITUATION — SEPTEMBER  2015:  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

Profile of the U.S. Coal Miner 2014: http://www.nma.org/pdf/c_profile.pdf

Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Education Level: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

Coal Miners Struggle to Survive in an Industry Battered by Layoffs and Bankruptcy: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/18/business/energy-environment/coal-miners-struggle-to-survive-in-an-industry-battered-by-layoffs-and-bankruptcy.html

A Colorado Coal Mining Town Struggles to Define Its Future:  Tighter regulations, environmental lawsuits and a pivot toward cleaner-burning natural gas have knocked communities like Somerset, Colo., on their heels: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/us/coal-mine-closed-colorado-town-struggles-to-define-future.html

Obama Costs Miners Their Job — Tells Them Take Welfare:  http://www.libertynewsnow.com/obama-costs-miners-their-job-tells-them-take-welfare/article1446

Coal miners union to sue over Obama power plant rules: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/243947-coal-miners-union-to-sue-over-obama-power-plant-rules


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