One winner from the debate... coal miners

It seems that one unexpected group of people may have gotten a decided lift from Mitt Romney’s success at the first presidential debate. According to Business Insider, coal miners – lately in tremendous fear for their livelihoods – may have reason to hope for saving their jobs if Mitt pulls out a win next month.

The biggest winners today were coal companies. Last night, Romney gave high praise to coal and clean coal technology. Shares of Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal soared today.

It’s no secret that coal miners, along with all of the subsidiary industries which rely on domestic energy production from these sources, have been daunted by the prospect of Obama’s EPA having another four years to run on unchecked. The company cited above, Alpha Natural Resources, announced just last month that they were looking at a closing eight mines and slashing production by 16 million tons annually. That translates into roughly 1,200 direct jobs – many in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania – and who knows how many in associated lines of business.

But with some new management at the EPA and a fresh look at the raft of new regulations which are forcing coal plants to shut down if they can’t complete conversions costing billions of dollars on short notice, those jobs may yet be saved. None of this, of course, deals with the additional question of what this will do to heating and energy costs just as winter approaches.

For a final bonus, the video below is a Fox Business News interview with Alpha’s CEO, where he explains the industry view of the crossroads they find themselves at. It’s only a few minutes long and well worth a look.

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 04, 2022