Wicked Commentary

This is an old story back from May 2015 but it strikes at the heart of where I live in Eastern Kentucky, the Appalachians. And it saddens me greatly since I moved here only 8 years ago. You might say this was my first time in life to see up close and personal the devastation of the poor and middle class in one community. 

Thousands of coal miners and coal-fired power plant workers who have lost their jobs due to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations since President Barack Obama took office can go on welfare – and to take advantage of $35 million in set aside “Power+Plan” welfare grants for the industry.

According to the Obama administration, the Commerce Department’s Power+Plan grants program will help “communities and workers successfully adapt to changes in the coal industry and power sector.”

Making no mention of easing the mostly arbitrary EPA regulations to staunch the bleeding of jobs in the coal industry, President Obama is asking Congress to raise the budget for Power+Plan grants to $55 million. The president believes the increased funding will “diversify” local economies across Appalachia so they become less reliant on coal jobs.

In the county I live in the massive closings of coal mines and miners who have lost their jobs, the misery is great. God’s Food pantry here is trying to feed 25% of the county. The need is so great that families are on a waiting list of visits to God’s Food Pantry every 3 to 4 months.

Just where are these new jobs promised by Obama? I see none. According to the Ag Extension office who works with God’s Food Pantry (run by a Christian church) tells me that the number of people who need food has skyrocketed since Obama took office. It used to be that families could come every month. I don’t know how these families stay fed on what is given out for one month to last throughout the next 3 to 4 months.

Kentucky and West Virginia have been two of the hardest hit states when it comes to federal regulations on coal. EPA regulations are forcing power companies to delay coal-fired power plant repairs and maintenance… cancel plans to build new power plants… and force fully operational coal-fired power plants to close.

Some jobs have also been lost due to competition from natural gas. Kentucky lost 644 power plant jobs from 2008 to 2013 – a 37 percent drop in the workforce – and 5,188 coal mining jobs during that time – a 31 percent reduction in the state’s coal workforce.

I see the ramifications of the loss of these jobs daily. During the winter schools close when the temperatures are cold because children don’t have coats, mittens, and boots to protect these children. And I’m sure the schools also cannot afford the rising electric rates that go along with the EPA’s draconian regulations.

Through many conversations with people in town whole generations of families are now living together because their daughters and sons have lost their jobs and their homes. Therefore the families must move in, sons, daughters and their children. They are having a difficult time feeding this many people under one roof.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said:

“Kentucky’s coal miners, their families and those working in coal-related jobs continue to suffer under this Administration’s War on Coal and its burdensome regulations, the result of which has been the loss of thousands of high-wage jobs in a region facing serious economic challenges.”

Until January, when Republicans took over control of the Senate following the 2014 elections, not much attention was paid to the Kentucky Republican. Since then, McConnell has only been able to secure $7.5 million from the Labor Department retrain coal workers who lost their jobs.

“This funding will help … provide essential reemployment services – including for emerging information technology jobs – to approximately 700 Kentuckians who have lost jobs or businesses as a result of the decline in the coal industry,” McConnell said.

But I see no evidence of this. There is no lessening of people who go to God’s Food Pantry. They look like they are on their last dime. Many are badly disabled people. Most of them are depressed. After all they once had good paying jobs. They don’t want this for their families.

Families who are somewhat better off try to help by donating clothing but the need is too great to be fulfilled. Plus there are not that many people who better off than those who lost their jobs. Wages are low. Jobs are scarce.

Another ramification of this burdensome EPA that is not mentioned is the tax money loss due to fewer coal trucks on the road who used to pay taxes to support programs for many things, including the Agriculture Extension Agency and the Senior Center.

The Ag Extensions supplies much-needed programs for farmers and women who need to grow and can food. There are so many helpful programs I can’t name them all but helping Diabetics and lunch boxes for kids on weekends so they have food are a couple out of many.

The senior center used to provide an adult care center for those seniors too disabled to get out of the house. Two workers did the care taking of these people during the morning and through a nutritious lunch.  That has been stopped too due to the lack of tax money that used to come in from the coal trucks. The bus which picks up seniors has had its’ time limited. So Seniors who can’t drive any longer have less time to do the things they need to do. Walking is not an option for many of these seniors either through inability or the distance.

I felt I needed to write about this because just hearing that coal miners are losing their jobs isn’t enough without telling the whole domino effect of such effect the lost jobs have on a community. In my county and those around me this has been devastating.

Furthermore, I see no sign of any new types of energy production such as natural gas. There are many in this country who heat by wood. But that is not the norm. I fear when the time comes when we families can no longer afford the rising cost of the coal and the EPA’s surcharge which rises every year. The percentage added onto the electric bill is excessive and the poor cannot afford it. Not even the middle class people can keep paying these exorbitant electric prices.

And then what happens when all the coal companies are shut down? Our governor, a Democrat, has done nothing to help this situation. He is in lock step with Obama. The man running for our new governor, another Democrat and sleaze has never done anything either. Governor Beshear has made no plans on supplying our Appalachian counties with a different form of energy. A real lack of planning on his part to say the least.

Eastern Kentucky you might say is a lost part of the country. Most people make fun of the wonderful people who live here. I don’t think you could run into kinder and more helpful people than they are. I experienced this kindness when I lost Ron. I didn’t even know the people who helped me. It didn’t matter to them, they saw I needed help in all kinds of ways. That is their Christian way.

Obama and the EPA have Appalachian lives in their hands and it seems the end game is to make sure we all die at some point when we either freeze to death or suffer heat stroke in our very hot summers. They do not care. Obama does not care about the poorest among us and every time he speaks about the helping the poor and the middle class he is lying. I see the proof. Obama kept his promise that he would break the coal companies and he has done that. But he also has broken the proud and independent people who live here. I have a suspicion however that these proud people will make a come back some how, some way with their deep belief in God.





Comments on: "Obama Costs Miners Their Job — Tells Them Take Welfare" (19)

  1. Pepper, as heartbreaking as this is to read, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to post.
    I’m glad you’re a lady, because what I’m thinking is not fit for a lady’s ears, nor eyes.
    The obomination is exactly what a lady in Roseburg, OR called him: an Executive Anus. And at that, he has his oral and defecation orifices transposed,,,


    • peppermintfarm said:

      Hi Grouchy,

      Yes it was heartbreaking to write because as i wrote each word I had the feeling that all hope is lost. It was hard not to cry while writing this as i put into words the devastation of many families here.

      And for what? One man’s hoax about climate change? Or the UN’s plan to take over our country so people need to be killed off so they can take the resources for their Global Development plans?

      I tried to bring faith into it since that is our only last hope.

      Believe me, I may be a lady, but I sure have some very bad thoughts in my mind about Obama and his destruction. He cares for no one except for himself.

      For the lady in Roseburg Or, I completely agree with what she said. He indeed is an Executive Anus!


      • willibeaux said:

        Pepp! Thanks for posting this. I knew things were desperate, but not to the extent you have described. 😦
        Eastern KY is not alone with this misery. All of the coal mining states are in the same boat and there seems to be no relief in sight.

        Are the churches west of your county trying to provide any relief?

        We will pray that God will touch the hearts of those with substance will share it with our unfortunate fellow citizens.


        • peppermintfarm said:

          Hi Beaux,

          I know as West VA has been hit very bad too and I’m sure other places. I just wanted to put a face to the story. it is quite awful what the EPA/O has done.

          We have one church in this country who provides food, a Christian church, but that’s it as far as I know. As far as the surrounding counties I have no idea what is being done there. I do know that the 2 grocery stores here donate food.

          And some of the food comes up from Lexington but a lot of that is sometimes bad like the chickens they send up.

          Everyone here tries their best to do what they can like donate clothing especially for the children but there are not enough people to supply the demand.


    • willibeaux said:

      Grouch… I’m with you. Heartbreaking is putting it mildly. It’s always tempting as a veteran to resort to barracks language to describe my disgust for the low info voters that put zero in office twice. It will take years to reverse these disgraces if ever. Pepp has described to my wife and I the sad state of affairs for her county. zero suffers from cranial rectilitus (head up@zz) and we have 14 1/2 months more to suffer. Ugg!


  2. Bob Roller said:

    I blame a lot of Obama’s success in destroying rural lives on a pack of sniveling cowards called Congress. They are scared witless of being called “racists”if they oppose his radical Socialist/Marxist/Muslim ass kissing agenda.We rousted a long term Congressman here in WV and only got more sniveling from the RINO that replaced him.
    These rural folks ARE clinging to their religious beliefs as well as their guns in spite of Obozo’s onslaught against them.
    I worked in a machine shop that supplied components to the coal mining industry and sub contracted for others and made a decent living.That shop is now nearly silent with only a couple of employees now.A sad comment on the gullibility of younger Americans that are bereft of any knowledge of the history of the now FSA (Faltering States of America because they wanted a novelty/oddity instead of a president.Tell me.how’d that Hopey/Changie thing work for you??????


    • peppermintfarm said:

      You’re right Bob. Congress has done nothing to stop this madness, The latest EPA regs was brought before SCOTUS and they ruled against the EPA. You know what happened. The EPA snubbed their noses at SCOTUS and told them “we will go ahead with our plans whether you like it or not”. That’s the kind of lawless EPA we have. If I had my wish I’d get rid of that rogue agency. They do nothing but cause misery to everything and everyone they touch.

      Well KY is a gun toting, religious area too and I’d hate to see the war that would break out if O tries to confiscate guns here.

      Your story about the machine shop is one more like what I told. The domino effect of breaking coal companies seeps down to other businesses who usually have to close. Thanks for telling that story Bob.

      I agree about the stupid voters we have in this country and I fear we may re-live it in the 2016 election. Even though two terms of Obama have been a disaster they will go out and vote again for one of these dolts who are basically socialists/Commies because they are too dumb to realize there is no free ride. All they want are freebies and where on earth did the work ethic go?


  3. Excellent article. You really do bring it into focus. As you say, we hear jobs numbers and stuff but it doesn’t tell the whole story. And not one word from Obama or any of his henchmen toward those Obama-created problems.

    Sure give them more money, a poultry 55 million when he’s wiped out billions. Now I’m wondering where that money went/is going?

    Look at all the millions he gave green energy and they lost it in record time. Whoosh gone. The situation there just tells the Obama story so well. Sad how little he cares about any of it.


    • peppermintfarm said:

      Thanks Bull. Yeah just the numbers does not bring it home to people. Putting a face on it is what I wanted to do.

      No Obama and his henchmen are fine with the misery they cause. And they intend to cause more. Bringing these refugees in when we are already faltering makes no sense unless he wants to destabilize more of our country. Where are the jobs for these people. We have enough unemployed people already so they will go on Welfare and soon the money will run out. It always does.

      Yes his green energy did not work and one does wonder where all that tax payer money went. Somebody’s pocket I’m sure. And on top of it he’s still trying these same loony ideas that don’t work. I don’t think he cares one bit if they don’t work. It’s all about him using tax money and making people miserable. I don’t know if we’ll make it through the time he has left in office.


  4. As Bob Roller noted he is in WV, I grew up and spent a large portion of my adult life in WV and was forced to relocate. .All the steel mills closed thanks to Clinton’s NAFTA agreement sending everything overseas. The coal industry is dead and now O and the EPA are attempting to shut down the Fracking. They want to make everyone dependent on the Government and then when there is nothing left and folks turn to the Government there is no help forthcoming. Our food banks are stretched beyond their limits, but God forbid the Government should crack down on the fraud with the SNAP cards. It is all by evil design to destroy us.


    • peppermintfarm said:

      Walt thank you for your story. I’m so sorry about the steel mills closing down due to NAPTA. Everyone of these deals like that ends up taking jobs away from Americans. I get so mad even thinking about it. Now we have all these illegals and refugees here and what jobs are they going to be doing? The unemployment rate is so high already. More guv bennies I guess. And at some point there won’t be enough tax payers to pay for this.

      Him trying to do away with fracking is another destructive act of his. Here we are getting to the point where we can be energy independent and he wants to destroy it. He’s insane and I can’t wait until he’s gone. But even that may not be enough if one of the other loony dems/Commies becomes prez in 2016. It will be the same fight and the same policies that are destroying us.

      Heaven forbid if the government were ever to crack down on any of the fraud always present in their programs. They just don’t care. Or to run efficiently their programs. They hire lazy people who know they can’t be fired and give people the worst service they can.


  5. Great article Pepp! So many hear about this situation from the outside, but you did an excellent job giving an in-depth look from the inside. A story that needed to be told and repeated over and over.

    We know this all bullshit about the money for retraining. I’ve spent my share of time in eastern KY and what the hell are they going to train them to do? What industries have moved into eastern KY to provide new high wage jobs? There is no place else for these folks to go to get any kind of job. Never mind these ‘new retraining technology’ jobs that don’t exist.

    Barry and his EnviroNazi agency set out to destroy not only the coal industry, but those folks who depend on it to provide for their family. Mitch talking another good game, but nothing yet tangible and I doubt there will be.

    Very sad. Very needless. An entire region getting destroyed based on an EnviroNazi lie.


    • peppermintfarm said:

      Thanks Dave. I really wanted to put a face on this situation. People are in misery.

      You are right Dave. What industries indeed? I see none moving into Eastern KY. There are no jobs to be had unless people have the money to drive to Lexington perhaps. But most of the people don’t have the gas money or they’ve lost their cars too. And right there are no new technology jobs that I’m aware of. Not heard of a one. And I doubt very much there will ever be any.

      That’s the only promises Barry keeps, the ones that destroy jobs and people. I haven’t seen Mitch do much of anything either for this situation. Who has really? Like I said these are just forgotten people in a region no one cares about.

      Our rep Andy Barr has done nothing either. I’m voting him out if some other Repub runs against him. He’s useless.

      Yes it’s needless to destroy the coal industry but with Barry’s and his EPA Nazis he’s done a great job of destruction as he does with everything he touches.


      • Pepp, you put an excellent (but very sad) face on the horrrible picture of what’s going on in eastern KY. Such a damn atroticy due only to the EnviroZazi lie. I hope Pope Joke Francis is happy and he can house all the starving created by this lie in the Vatican on his dime!!


        • peppermintfarm said:

          Dave, it just a tragedy waht is happening and has happened. We are nothing to the Wacko Enviros. And Pope Francis isn’t about to help anyone here. There are few Catholics. 🙂


  6. Very touching post, Peppermint. People in Kentucky and West Virginia are, in Obama’s thinking, merely the collateral damage of his narcissistic war against all things conservative, including life-sustaining affordable energy. I find it almost surreal that people sheepishly tolerate an out-of-control government’s arbitrary destruction of their livelihoods and source of energy. Your senators, instead of begging for money to retrain people for jobs that don’t exist, should be leading the charge to defund the EPA with the support of all republicans nationwide. Of course people should also help themselves by not electing democrats like Steve Beshear.


    • peppermintfarm said:

      Hi CW, very glad to see you here.,

      Collateral damage, that’s a good word for what’s happening here in the worship of the Sun God.

      I don’t think people here really know what to do. And KY is strange in that almost always they elect a Dem governor, but put Republican Senators in place.

      I too am very upset at McConnell. But, he was among the group who sued the EPA that went up to SCOTUS who ruled against the EPA and they snubbed their noses at SCOTUS and said they’d go ahead with their new draconian rules and regulations.

      The EPA is a rogue, lawless agency and the repubs should just defund them if they can’t get rid of them. My hope and it might be false hope is that we get a republican president who would just do away with the EPA altogether.

      I too would like to see a Republican governor in place who would fight for the coal miners and their jobs.

      I’m sure Obama hates us here because he was voted down twice for president in double digits here.


  7. Jodie.V's.Pearls said:

    Very sad situation 😐 My heart breaks for them and our Country!


  8. […] Source: Obama Costs Miners Their Job — Tells Them Take Welfare […]


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