Governor McDonnell, Rep. Griffith announce participation in rally for coal jobs

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-9) both confirmed they will be participating in the Federation for American Coal Energy and Security’s (FACES of Coal) Appalachian Coal Jobs Rally on June 2nd in Abingdon, VA.

The Rally is being billed as a celebration of Appalachian Coal Jobs and will feature live entertainment as well as an open forum to highlight the importance of coal to Virginia and the country. Other confirmed participants include Virginia U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Congressman Phil Roe (TN-1). The rally is being coordinated with the Eastern Coal Council and includes participation from several Virginia and Appalachian based businesses.

“We want to make sure President Obama and his EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson know that people here in Appalachia are sick and tired of being persecuted by his Administration,” said Congressman Griffith. “These are the people who produce jobs, produce electricity, produce the things we use every day in this country. I’m proud of them, and I will fight for them.”

Governor McDonnell commented, “Coal mining supports tens of thousands of Virginia jobs. In southwest Virginia, mining is a vocation, an economic driver, and a way of life that has defined these communities for generations. Those who dedicate their lives developing natural resources for the betterment of their fellow Virginians should be championed and we should all partner to support them. Their efforts are helping the Commonwealth realize the dream of becoming the energy capital of the East Coast as Virginia continues to be a leader in the exploration and development of traditional energy sources such as clean coal.”

Recently released EPA rules, including the Utility MACT Rule, will have devastating effects on Appalachian and Virginia coal mining operations. These actions come on the heels of the two year surface mining permit moratorium the Obama Administration’s EPA has had in place throughout Appalachia.

“Coal is a huge part of Virginia’s economy; whether it is in the coal fields, the ports in Hampton Roads or the affordable electricity Virginia businesses enjoy across the state, coal is a jobs creator,” said Petrina Jones, executive director of Virginia FACES of Coal. “This rally is an opportunity for coal supporters to come together and send a message to Washington D.C. that the bureaucratic attacks on coal and coal communities need to stop.”

Other invited speakers include Presidential Candidates Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine and U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner.