MARTINS FERRY, Ohio — Coal miners upset with the Obama administration’s policies on energy protested Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign rally here.
More than 100 coal miners and tea party activists stood on a hill overlooking Biden’s speech holding signs like “Biden said ‘no more coal in America’” and “Stop the war on coal, fire Obama.”
Mitchell Metzler a miner and Iraq war veteran, said he came to the protest after finishing his midnight shift at the mine.
“I spent a year in Iraq serving my country, and now they want to take away my job,” he said.
Kevin Hughes, the superintendent at the American Energy Corporation Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, which organized the rally of its workers, said the reason they were protesting is simple: President Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda is killing jobs.
“We want to save our jobs. We want to save this valley,” he said.
Ed Good, an electrician at a local coal-fired power plant and a member of the Obama campaign’s “Truth Team” dismissed the notion that there is a “war on coal,” noting that coal mining jobs reached a 14-year high last year, but acknowledging that there are still problems with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Good mentioned that when Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts he too took a hard line on coal.
“Back then the governor was saying I’m going to shut down any plant that kills people — he was referring to a coal plant, a utility plant,” he said.