Sen. Mitch McConnell and Congressman Hal Rogers were in Bell County on Thursday during their Eastern Kentucky Coal Bus Tour. The event was held at the Combs Group in Middlesboro just off U.S. 25E.
“I’ve never been here on a more important mission than this year,” said Rogers in regards to the event.
Rogers said his district alone has lost 8,000 miners because of the policies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“If we can just survive through the Obama presidency and live, we’ll be lucky,” Rogers said. “We need the strongest, powerful voice we can find to represent Kentucky and our coal mining industry … to fight for Kentucky’s cause in Washington.”
Rogers also said the House has cut the EPA’s budget by almost 20 percent in previous years, but funding has always been restored when it reaches the Senate.
McConnell also expressed negative feelings toward the Obama administration. He said the rest of the world is not following the U.S. in regards to climate change regulations.
“As the rest of the world constructs new coal plants and begins to use more coal, we go in the opposite direction,” said McConnell. “Australia repealed its cap and trade system.”
McConnell suggested the Obama administration is suppose to be using the regulations because of global warming.
“If it’s a global problem, then your country doing this all by itself is going to be as effective as dropping a pebble in the ocean,” said McConnell.
McConnell pointed out that 40 percent of electricity comes from coal and quoted a popular song by saying “coal keeps the lights on.”
During the event, food was served to those in attendance. Jimmy Rose performed his song “Coal Keeps the Lights On” during the event as well.
Anthony Cloud can be reached at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.