The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | October 21, 2012 | 35 Comments

You remember Grundy, Virginia, the Appalachian town whose airport expansion was stalled by federal regulators because of the Obama administration’s “War on Coal.” The photo above shows part of the crowd that attended today’s pro-coal rally in Grundy, and was sent to me by Debra McCown, who reports that the sheriff’s department estimated the crowd as at least 5,500 — in a town whose population is only 1,100.

One early report from the Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph said: “The traffic was backed up from Poplar Gap Park to U.S. 460 in Grundy, Va., and backed up to Haysi, Va., in the other direction.”

UPDATE: To understand how deeply the “War on Coal” hits Appalachia, read Matt Vespa’s account at the Hot Air Green Room:

The issue has stoked anger against the Obama administration amongst voters in these areas. In the Williamson Daily News, a local paper circulated in Kentucky and West Virginia, staff writer Julia Roberts Goad wrote on October 13 about how United for Coal, “a citizens group created to support the coal mining industry” has declared that “our government has decided to commit ‘Regional Genocide’ against our people …”

UPDATE II: Mitt Romney’s son Matt spoke at the rally in Grundy, as did Susan Allen, wife of Virginia Senate candidate George Allen. The Allen campaign issued this press release:

Susan Allen Rallies Virginians in Coal Country
Grundy, VA – Today, Susan Allen rallied Southwest Virginians at the Rally in Support of American Coal Jobs, joining Matt Romney and Congressman Morgan Griffith in standing strong for the people and jobs behind Virginia’s coal. The event was hosted by the Eastern Coal Council, Friends of Coal, FACES of Coal and other coal industry leaders in Buchanan County.
In Grundy’s Poplar Park, thousands of coal miners, concerned families, residents, business leaders and local officials gathered to rally in support of Virginia coal. They feel that their voices are being ignored as Washington’s harmful regulatory policies are causing coal plants and mines to shut down, costing the region thousands of coal-related jobs. Susan Allen gave a speech sharing George Allen’s commitment to Southwest Virginia and using our American energy resources from our coalfields to our coast.
“Coal plays such a vital role for families and jobs in Southwest Virginia,” said Susan Allen. “Virginia is blessed with such abundant energy resources like coal and the natural gas and oil off our shore. With these resources, the ability to create new jobs and make electricity more affordable is right at our fingertips. As George and I have listened to Southwest Virginians, their number one concern has been the war on coal that has cost many of their family members and neighbors their jobs and livelihoods. Skyrocketing electricity prices have taken a toll on families and have forced many small businesses to close their doors despite years of hard work. On November 6th, Southwest Virginians have an opportunity to make their voices heard by sending George Allen to the U.S. Senate to fight for Virginia jobs and stand up for coal. George will work hard from day one to unleash our American energy resources from our coalfields to our coasts for Virginia jobs and more affordable energy to lead the way towards America’s Comeback!”
On Monday, Susan Allen will visit the American Mine Research facility in Rocky Gap to listen to their concerns about the effects of Washington’s harmful energy policies on Virginia families and jobs.

UPDATE III: Debra McCown has now filed her report of the Grundy rally and it’s got the quote of the day year millenium:

“The only promise Obama kept was to kill coal,” said Jerry Shortt, a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day — and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent.
“You see all these people? I bet you a quarter of them’s laid off,” he said. “I know a lot of people that did [vote for Obama] that are not going to next time. Hope turned into damnation.”

Please the whole thing at The American Spectator.

UPDATE IV: The Lonely Conservative:

Who knows, maybe Obama’s hoping that his “green jobs” strategy won’t produce any more bankruptcies or layoffs before the election, so those green workers will vote his way. I don’t think that will work. I think he miscalculated the backlash from coal workers, who all live in the swing states he so desperately needs to win reelection. Maybe he thought that expanding the welfare state would be enough to win these hard workers over, and just doesn’t understand the culture of work most of us live by.



  1. Roxeanne de Luca
    October 21st, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    Southwest Virginia is also poor. Dirt poor. Scary poor, in some places. It’s also underserved for non-car transport. These people simply don’t have the luxury of Obama’s good intentions.

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    Republicans in Coal Country need to remind voters of this policy chance by Obama every chance they get.

  3. Raiders
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    Fond memories of Grundy, Some of my Ranger Co ‘s men were from Grundy ,Va . hard working folks ,friendly these folks deserve better than losing their jobs , Due to idiot Hussein actions . Hopefully Romney will prevail and help turn around the idiots policies . May God bless all

  4. Adobe_Walls
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:25 am

    I wouldn’t wish Comrade Presidents good intentions on Comrade President.

  5. Adjoran
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    There are certainly serious remaining environmental issues with coal but they mainly deal with proper disposal of ash – which contains trace amounts of many heavy metal poisons like mercury, arsenic, lead, antimony, and others. The amounts are small but because these are elemental they do not break down over time, and the effect on living things is cumulative over a lifetime, which is why there are advisories on eating fish from many rivers and lakes.

    The emissions pollution from coal still needs some improvement, but in the main the worst offenders are older plants which will close before long anyway, newer technology has eliminated most of the remaining toxins coming out of the smoke stack. Remember the enviro-wackos were telling us in the ’80s we were doomed to acid rain from coal plants and yet . . .

    Obama’s EPA has been a direct subsidiary of the radical environmental nut cases who just hate coal. Obama is fully on board with this crap.

  6. War On Coal Update: 5,000 Attend Virginia Rally | The Lonely Conservative
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 1:12 am

    […] was there, and so was Senate candidate George Allen’s wife.  What’s amazing is that  the number of people who showed up far outnumbered the number of people who live there.…the sheriff’s department estimated the crowd as at least 5,500 — in a town whose […]

  7. Bob Belvedere
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    I would.

    I take great pleasure when a Bolshe’s hoist meets his petard.

    I was just watching the two-part Smithsonian special The Russian Revolution In Color and I laughed my arse off when the Bolsheviks turned against the Mensheviks and their own – first-glass guffaws there.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    Why can’t we recycle the mercury, arsenic, lead, antimony, etc. – they have their uses in production, research, and medicine. /semi-sarc

  9. Instapundit » Blog Archive » MORE THAN 5,000 ATTEND RALLY FOR COAL IN GRUNDY, VIRGINIA: Compare size of the crowd in the photo at…
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    […] THAN 5,000 ATTEND RALLY FOR COAL IN GRUNDY, VIRGINIA: Compare size of the crowd in the photo atop Stacy McCain’s post with Sandra Fluke’s rather more “selective” […]

  10. Nopefull
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Where are the libs going to get their electricity to charge their green, battery driven autos if they shut down coal fired generators? Stupid elites.

  11. Don Surber
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    Not surprised. Looking forward to seeing DC-based reporters shock on November 6 by the size of Mitt’s win in Virginia. Grundy is not far from Surber, Va., population 100 — or 10 times Sandra Fluke’s flock in Nevada

  12. Roxeanne de Luca
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    Right – but if that were really the concern, the greenies would be pushing the creation of new coal plants, not blocking them.

  13. archarthur
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Great idea. Obama can use the mercury in those stupid curley cue lightbulbs. I’ll take the lead and antimony, add tin and cast more .45 ACP bullets. As fro the arsenic, we’ll send it you so you can put it on your french fries – it’s a great salt substitute.

  14. archarthur
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:41 am

    America is not going to stop mining coal. If it makes more economic sense to burn natural gas, which we will soon have in great quantities, we should export coal to China and India. I suspect that we will be burning coal for decades as soon as we can brush Obama and his eco-crazies out of the way.

    Also, as nations in Africa develop their economies, American coal would be a wonderful source of energy, lifting them out of the darkness.

  15. higgins1990
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    The wave, Romney be riding it.

  16. elkh1
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    They voted for him and he kept his promise, so what’s wrong?

  17. ThomasD
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    A new coal power plant was recently completed near St. Paul VA. If you drove by it you might never now it has gone into operation it is that clean.

    The Eastman plant in Kingsport TN makes all sorts of polymers out of acetate derived from coal gasification, including many consumer grade products – ones you are probably using. So all the nasty stuff can be removed, in the case of power plants it’s just a question of timing and economics.

    Coal plants typically have a life expectancy of 50 or so years. If it wasn’t for the threats and actions coming from the Obama administration you might see more plants like the one in St. Paul. But give all that it is considered safer to switch to natural gas – even though that, in the long run, is going to prove a significant misuse of that resource.

  18. ThomasD
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    Wow, PIMF.

  19. Cain
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    Really curious about the coal folks who voted for Obama. Does anybody have some insight here? Were they unaware of Obama’s promise to choke the life out of their industry or did they just not believe he meant it? If the latter, I guess it boils down to bad luck that the one issue they needed Obama to be dishonest about was pretty much the one and only campaign promise this clown kept.

    And I don’t mean to sound flip towards the coal workers. I feel horrible for anybody who’s been out of work due to this pathetic economy. Whatever the reason people may choose for not supporting Obama this time around, I’m thankful you’ve made that choice. I know it sounds like a cliche some folks drag out every 4 years, but in my view, this election really does matter more than most; probably a great deal more than any of us realize at this stage.

  20. ronnor
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    Its not just coal that Obama and the newDemocrats want to shut down, its all viable energy sources so that the country will fail. Great countries must have energy, without it they become 3 world and the reason the newDemocrats want to end all of our energy sources is to make the United States a memory of what it once was. Why, you might ask, why would the newDemocrats do that? Could it be that the enemies of this country are waging an economic war rather than a conventional one that they can not win and they are funding the ‘greens’ and the political party that they own? When there is no other answer for a question like the suppression of all real energy sources, you have to start thinking who or what is really coming out on this, when you are paying $4.50 per gallon of gas, when your electricity bills are so much that you can’t afford to turn on your lights, when you jobs fold up because of rules and regulations that only OPEC, Russia and the Chinese benefit from. Obama’s campaign money is now coming from off shore and its untraceable, the ‘greens’ money…where is it coming from? Obama and the Democrats don’t work for this country and you can see that by their actions, when are the People going to realize that this is not going to get better, its going to get much, much worse. We have enemy’s in Congress and the Executive branch and 4 more years of newDemocrats will put you either in the bread lines or gulags.

  21. Waiting for the Big Tip | Daily Pundit
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    […] for the Big Tip Posted on October 22, 2012 9:25 am by Bill Quick MORE THAN 5,000 ATTEND RALLY FOR COAL IN GRUNDY, VIRGINIA : The Other McCain You remember Grundy, Virginia, the Appalachian town whose airport expansion was stalled by federal […]

  22. The Democrat Graveyard Whistling Choir Ignores ‘Preference Cascade’ Scenario : The Other McCain
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    […] hero/martyr Sandra Fluke drew a much smaller crowd than did the actual victims of the “War on Coal” in Grundy, Virginia.As they say, the plural of “anecdote” is data, and these are just a couple of points on […]

  23. Wombat_socho
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    Wind and solar! (Yes, some of them are actually ignorant enough to believe this.)

  24. ThomasD
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Power generation from gas only makes sense right now because the temporary abundance makes gas cheap relative to coal. As demand for gas ramps up the economics will shift. Which is unfortunate because gas has many more uses – especially LNG for fleet vehicles, public transport (buses) and trucking. When everyone is fighting for that same energy source prices will inevitably rise.

    If we were building clean coal for electricity and shifting gas into uses involving portability and intermittent demand we’d be growing the energy pie while also lowering all forms of energy costs.

    As it is right now, by driving out coal energy we are practicing more of a zero sum game. One that will cost us in the long run.

  25. ThomasD
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

    1. Tired of Bush (or at least tired of the incessant anti Bush media drumbeat.)

    2. McCain never tried to distance himself from Obama in any meaningful way on the coal issue.

    3. The unions were all in for Obama last time around. This time they are ‘officially’ not endorsing anyone (lest they risk open revolt.).

  26. paulejb
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    Reality is catching up with the hope’nchange gang.

  27. Cain
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Thanks Thomas; that does makes sense. It’s true McCain was never a terribly attractive choice of candidate even for the right (maybe especially for the right). McCain became the obvious choice only to those who had at least some inkling of the con job Obama and the media were running while carefully hiding or ignoring most of the key facts regarding his background and the agenda he would pursue as President.

    Maybe the most positive thing that can come out of this train wreck of an administration would be if huge numbers of Americans have now learned the hard way to stop blindly trusting the news being spoon-fed to them from media, who pretend to be agenda and bias neutral, and to go do at least a little of their own research and ask questions. I truly hope there’s more to that than just wishful thinking. Time will tell.

  28. Quartermaster
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

    Natural Gas does not make sense right now for power generation. Coal has far greater energy density than Natural Gas and is more easily transported to boot.
    If you think Gas is safe, then go to Waverly, TN and ask about the Gas railroad tanker that exploded there back in the late 70s. Or to the people near the high pressure transmission line that went up in KY in the 80s. There are very serious hazards to the stuff.

  29. Dr_Albert_Gortenbull
    October 22nd, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Obama’s Secretary of Energy also wants European-style gasoline prices in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Returning America and the World to the Stone Age to reduce CO2 emissions is definitely not the answer.

  30. AP tries to rescue Obama from War on Coal, Daily Insult obliges with big frontpage « Pull My Chain
    October 23rd, 2012 @ 1:55 am

    […] Coal areas are fighting back. They may not get the publicity of Ashley Judd, Darryl Hannah or RFK Jr but pols care a lot more about these 5000 people who vote and pay taxes. I have family sread out in this area and people are extremely tense and angry. Dem pols would rather pick up a copperhead that be associated wih Obama. […]

  31. Obama’s VA Strategy: Kill Coal, Shrink Navy, Hire Bureaucrats « News « @griffinrc
    October 23rd, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    […] On Sunday, 5,000 coal miners and their families gathered in Grundy, Virginia to protest the President’s war on coal. As Stacy McCain reported: […]

  32. Obama’s VA Strategy: Kill Coal, Shrink Navy, Hire Bureaucrats | News
    October 23rd, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    […] On Sunday, 5,000 coal miners and their families gathered in Grundy, Virginia to protest the President’s war on coal. As Stacy McCain reported: […]

  33. Kill Coal, Shrink Navy, Hire Bureaucrats | The Political Hornet Annex
    October 23rd, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    […] gathered in Grundy, Virginia to protest the President’s war on coal. As Stacy McCain reported […]

  34. Obama's VA Strategy: Kill Coal, Shrink Navy, Hire Bureaucrats | PolitifreakPolitifreak
    October 24th, 2012 @ 4:46 am

    […] On Sunday, 5,000 coal miners and their families gathered in Grundy, Virginia to protest the President’s war on coal. As Stacy McCain reported: […]

  35. Obama's VA Strategy: Kill Coal, Shrink Navy, Hire Bureaucrats
    October 27th, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    […] On Sunday, 5,000 coal miners and their families gathered in Grundy, Virginia to protest the President’s war on coal. As Stacy McCain reported: […]