Chris Hamilton, the president of the West Virginia Coal Affiliation, which represents the homeowners, stated coal employment would stay viable for years to return, and he accused the unions of “waving a white flag.” He additionally advised they didn’t perceive the harm that renewable vitality incentives within the invoice would do to what’s left of coal.
“Frankly, we had been shocked” when the unions endorsed the social coverage and local weather laws, Mr. Hamilton stated.
“We’d have thought they’d have gone down swinging,” he added. “I don’t suppose we should be buying and selling one job for an additional, notably fundamental fossil vitality jobs that are extraordinarily effectively paid and carry advantages — and will final for an additional era.”
Phil Smith, the United Mine Employees’ chief lobbyist, responded, “We’re nonetheless swinging, however we’re swinging in a wise method and in a method that may present an actual future for fossil vitality staff in West Virginia and all through the nation.”
Union officers, talking on the situation of anonymity to keep away from angering mine homeowners, stated Mr. Manchin shouldn’t be listening to the West Virginia Coal Affiliation, which incorporates a few of Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters and switched allegiances in 2018 to again Mr. Manchin’s Republican challenger in that 12 months’s election, Patrick Morrisey.
Such private concerns shouldn’t be neglected. The United Mine Employees made Mr. Manchin an honorary member in 2020 for his work securing pension, well being and black lung advantages. At each flip, the senator notes that he misplaced an uncle, highschool classmates, buddies and neighbors in a 1968 explosion at a mine in Farmington, W.Va., that killed 78 miners.
And whereas Mr. Manchin has snapped at reporters within the Capitol shouting questions on Construct Again Higher negotiations, his spokeswoman, Sam Runyon, was effusive about his concern for mine staff.