500 Coal Miners will be out of a job in February and their bosses blamed Environmentalists for closure. CONSUL Energy based in Pittsburgh,PA says The environmentalists who opposed mountaintop mining uses a series of “nuisance” lawsuits.
CONSUL Energy CEO Nicholas J. DeIuliis says the bad economy and environmentalist opposition to mountaintop mining forced the company to cut jobs.
“It is challenging enough to operate our coal and gas assets in the current economic downturn without having to contend with a constant stream of activism in rehashing and reinterpreting permit applications that have already been approved or in the inequitable oversight of our operations,” he said in a statement. “Customers will grow reluctant to deal with energy producers they perceive are unable to guarantee a reliable supply due to regulatory uncertainty. It inhibits the ability to remain competitive.”
The environmental groups that oppose mountaintop mining including The Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmentalist Coalition; West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and the Coal River Mountain Watch.
OVEC’s Executive Director Janet Keating told the Washington Times she believes CONSOL Energy is using the lawsuit as an excuse to layoff workers, although she says “we don’t hide the fact we don’t like mountaintop mining.”
“The price of coal has dropped in half and I think we are a convenient target, a convenient scapegoat,” she said.
“This ruling does not even go into effect for 60 more days so doesn’t that tell you something?” Ms. Keating added. “Suddenly, all the sudden they are issuing these layoff notices as if the world is ending.”
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