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President Roberts' statement about NYC Mayor Bloomberg's contribution to the Sierra Club's campaign to end American coal jobs

date: 
July 21, 2011
For immediate release?: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[TRIANGLE, VA] – United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“Although Mayor Bloomberg and his foundation can do whatever they want with his money, it’s troubling that he is willing to spend $50 million to help the Sierra Club put Appalachian coal miners out of work and plunge their local economies into deeper recession. In the mostly rural areas where American coal miners live and work, coal jobs are the only ones that pay wages that allow miners and their families to live solid, middle-class lives.

“While environmental groups are working to kill the coal industry in America, I suspect that many of their members and supporters spend thousands of dollars every year on automobiles, computers, smartphones and other goods made in China, India and other countries which are rapidly building economies more robust than ours by using more and more coal as their chief source of energy.

“I would also point out that China is swiftly becoming the world’s leader in developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which will meet the goal of reducing and eventually eliminating greenhouse gas emissions when commercially applied to coal-fired power plants.

“Lastly, I would say that next-generation technology already exists to enable American utilities to build new coal-fired power plants that virtually eliminate mercury and other harmful emissions – if only they were allowed to be built. Instead, aggressive campaigns are mounted by a variety of environmental groups against building these vastly cleaner plants, meaning that utilities are forced to keep older plants– which do not have the new technology–in operation to meet America’s energy needs. Who’s harming who here?

“If he was really serious about doing something about the environment and helping to keep and expand American jobs, perhaps Mayor Bloomberg could devote his resources instead toward contributing to the development of CCS technology in this country, so that we can support American innovation and keep American workers on the job as we build a solid and secure American energy backbone for the 21st Century.”

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