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Last modified on Monday 27 March 2017 12.36 EDT
America’s biggest coal boss is hopeful that his industry will soon be freed of “fraudulent” green legislation that has hampered his industry, but warned Donald Trump to “temper” expectations about a boom in mining jobs.
Robert Murray, founder and chief executive of Murray Energy, the largest privately held coalminer in the US, is confident Trump will follow through with campaign plans to reinvigorate the coal industry and will start by scrapping Barack Obama’s clean power plan (CPP), Obama’s signature climate change plan.
The CPP was designed to cut the power sector’s carbon emissions by 32% by 2030, and Trump may move as soon as this week to overturn it. Murray blames it for shuttering coal-fired power plants and freezing new constructions during the Obama presidency. Repeal would be a major victory for Murray Energy, which filed a lawsuit against the CPP in 2015 that is now backed by more than two dozen states.
Murray, who met with Trump last month, also expects the president to end the classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant in the US, a classification brought in under the Obama administration. “We do not have a climate change or global warming problem, we have an energy cost problem,” Murray told the Guardian.
Murray met Trump in February when the president signed repeal of the Stream Protection Rule, Obama-era legislation that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris in streams and which Murray called an “unlawful and destructive” attempt to “destroy our nation’s underground coalmines and put our nation’s coalminers out of work” .
It was the 77-year-old Murray’s first visit to the White House and, he hopes, the first of a series that will help push coal’s agenda.
Trump pledged to bring back coal jobs during his presidential bid and repeated those promises last week. “As we speak, we are preparing new executive actions to save our coal industry and to save our wonderful coalminers from continuing to be put out of work. The miners are coming back,” Trump told a rally in Louisville, Kentucky.
While Trump did not provide specific details, he did reiterate plans to defang the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now led by Trump appointee and longtime EPA critic Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma. Trump said this week he would transform the EPA from “a job killer into a job creator”.
Murray has presented Trump with a plan, part of which would overturn many of the protections brought under Obama in by the EPA, including the 2009 classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant – a ruling known as ‘the “endangerment finding”.
“Carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act of 1971 was never a pollutant,” said Murray. “That endangerment finding needs to be overturned. It’s on my list of what needs to be done, because carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.”
During the campaign Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax”, said Obama’s regulation of carbon dioxide was “an overreach that punishes rather than helps Americans”.
Trump’s election has been a boon to coal, said Murray, after what he sees as Obama’s attempts to destroy the industry. But he has also warned the president he should “temper” expectations for jobs growth in the industry.
“I would not say it’s a good time in the coal industry. It’s a better time,” he said.
“Politically it’s much better. Barack Obama and his Democrat supporters were the greatest destroyers the United States of America has ever seen in its history. He destroyed reliable electric power in America, he destroyed low-cost electric power in America, and he attempted to totally destroy the United States coal industry.”
By Dr. Glenn Mollette
We hope for fewer taxes instead of more taxes. We hope for better fiscal spending and less wasteful spending. It would be nice if the very poor who are hurting could be helped until they are back on their feet. However the idea of delivering lifetime checks to adults who will not try to work has become a tiresome practice for many Americans.
Millions of Americans are addicted to their welfare and would rather hang on to the addiction of their welfare than go and find a paying a job. Welfare must become a temporary source of relief and not a lifestyle that's passed on to future generations. Most Americans are willing to help anybody a couple of years but the time comes for change.
We all know of cases of long-term debilitation. America should help those who are blind, suffering with chronic diseases that keep them imprisoned in wheelchairs and other forms of diseases and handicaps that imprison people and prevent them from doing life and working like other Americans.
Americans hope for better days. We have been flooded with immigrants in this country. We cannot continue receiving a hundred to hundred fifty thousand illegal immigrants pouring into this country. Regardless of how sorry you feel for the hurting people from other countries how many people can we absorb into our schools? How many can we absorb into our welfare system? How many Americans who have been here for years can afford to lose his or her job to someone who is willing to come and work for slave wages? How many refugees can we bring into our country? Since the 1980 Refugee act we have averaged 98,000 refugees per year. By the way Senator Joe Biden was one of the sponsors and Delaware has taken in very few refugees.
Nine nonprofit organizations are making millions of dollars every year by bringing anybody they can into this country? They are the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Lutheran Immigrant Aid Society (LIRS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), World Relief Corporation, Immigrant and Refugee Services of America (IRSA),
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Church World Service (CWS),
Domestic and Foreign Missionary Service of the Episcopal Church of the USA, Ethiopian Community Development Center (ECDC). The money comes from the federal government or our pockets. Below are some of the sources of income for Volags, the nine nonprofit organizations:
a. $1,850 per refugee (including children) from the State Department.
b. Up to $2,200 for each refugee by participating in a U.S. DHHS program known as Matching Grant. To get the $2,200, the Volag need only show it spent $200 and gave away $800 worth of donated clothes, furniture or cars.
c. The Volag pockets 25% of every transportation loan it collects from refugees it "sponsors".
d. All Volag expenses and overhead in the Washington, DC HQ are paid by the U.S. government.
e. For their refugee programs, Volags collect money from all federal grant programs - "Marriage Initiative", "Faith-based", "Ownership Society", etc., as well as from various state and local grants.
The program is so lucrative that in some towns the Catholic Church has lessened support for traditional charity works to put more effort into resettlement. It uses collection offerings to promote the refugee resettlement program. When you start multiplying Seventy thousand to a hundred thousand refugees times even just a $1,000 you come up with some nice profit. The Volags get millions of dollars of other support from foundations and other nonprofits and a lot of community volunteers who help them with assimilating the refugees into their community.
The nonprofit agencies only have to spend four months with the refugee until they are free to be anywhere in the United States doing whatever they want to do. The refugee program is a multi million-dollar moneymaker to these nine nonprofits. The Catholic Charities group is the largest group and surprisingly they have been bringing in thousands of Muslims who in turn have been buying their old churches and turning them into mosques. So let's get this straight. Our federal tax dollars are funneled into the Catholic charity, a Lutheran charity and seven other charities. This money is supposed to be used to bring seventy to a hundred thousand refugees to America. This number changes year to year. These people come from all parts of the world.
Refugee access to welfare on the same basis as a U.S. citizen has made the program a global magnet. The federal programs available to them include:
∙ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) formerly known as AFDC
∙ Food Stamps
∙ Public Housing
∙ Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
∙ Social Security Disability Insurance
∙ Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) (direct services only)
∙ Child Care and Development Fund
∙ Independent Living Program
∙ Job Opportunities for Low Income Individuals (JOLI)
∙ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
∙ Postsecondary Education Loans and Grants
∙ Refugee Assistance Programs
∙ Title IV Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Payments (if parents are qualified immigrants - refugees, asylees, etc.)
∙ Title XX Social Services Block Grant Funds
The numbers of people coming to your state are not exactly proportionate. As I said earlier Delaware, where Joe Biden lives, receives hardly any refugees. Other states like Florida, New York, Texas, Maryland and Kentucky have been bombarded with refugees. How many thousands can any one city and state take on? We are talking about year after year thousands of people being transplanted to your town, your subdivision. Since 1980 with the act we have taken in over three million refugees. The additional cost to the welfare system is between 10 - 20 billion dollars. There must be major curtailing of this program until we can get this nation on its feet.
Americans are hoping that Congress and our new President Trump will help us. Will jobs really come back to America? Will Congress really cut the corporate tax rate and make it more affordable for corporations to operate in this country? We need jobs. Our children are graduating high school and college every year. They want to move on with their lives and have a life. We need to help them.
Our Veterans struggle with employment, housing and medical care while we bring in 70,000 refugees and treat them better than our Veterans.
Our military is surviving in old beat up barracks. They often do not even have air conditioning in the summer and have old decrepit furnace systems in the winter. They are driving old equipment that mechanics work on every day to keep running. Over the years our government has lessened the numbers of our servicemen and women making it more difficult for soldiers to advance having to leave the military because they could not promote. It's time our government brought our military out of the doldrums of despair and made it once again the shining star of the world.
America's high school students should have access to community colleges and we should keep them as cheap as possible. Every kid in America should have an opportunity to go to college. Our country may not be able to offer community college for free but it needs to be as close to free as we can make it. Professors have to be paid and buildings built but let's keep both within reason and we can make college accessible for all.
There is a lot of worry and fear in America these days. Will Congress cut the Social Security checks of aged America? Are we safe as there are more and more random acts of violence? Congress and President Trump are wrestling verbally, tweeting, debating and voting about our future. Americans can make phone calls and write emails and letters to our leaders in Washington. We can protest and organize in our own communities to work for change.
We can only hope our elected leaders will work to help this nation and preserve an America that our grandchildren might wake up to enjoy.
Thanks to refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com for their statistics and information.
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) released the following statement regarding President Trump's budget proposal.
“While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the President’s skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive.
In particular, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has a long-standing history of bipartisan support in Congress because of its proven ability to help reduce poverty rates and extend basic necessities to communities across the Appalachian region. Today, nearly everyone in the region has access to clean water and sewer, the workforce is diversifying, educational opportunities are improving and rural technology is finally advancing to 21st Century standards. But there is more work to be done in these communities, and I will continue to advocate for sufficient funding for ARC and similar programs, like the Economic Development Administration.
“We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse. As the full budget picture emerges in the coming weeks, I am optimistic that we can work with the Administration to responsibly fund the federal government, including those agencies which serve as vital economic lifelines in rural parts of the country that are still working to overcome substantial challenges.”