HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s trip to Pittsburgh this afternoon.
“The President has chosen our Commonwealth as a place to talk about manufacturing jobs, but will he address the more than 13,000 manufacturing jobs that could be lost due to his War on Coal?” Gleason asked. “President Obama and Pennsylvania Democrats want to put an end to Pennsylvania coal and the tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs it supports.
“Hundreds of family-sustaining energy jobs were lost when power plants in Washington, Greene and Armstrong counties were closed. At a time when Governor Tom Corbett’s policies have created more than 150,000 private sector jobs, why do the Democrats want to put even a single job at risk?
“President Obama and Pennsylvania Democrats like Tom Wolf keep attacking energy jobs, but Tom Corbett keeps fighting to grow our economy. Under Tom Corbett’s leadership, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate stands at six-tenths below the national average.
“Tom Corbett is putting Pennsylvanians back to work. We simply cannot afford any more Democratic roadblocks on the path to economic recovery.”
Power plants in Washington, Greene and Armstrong counties have closed due to onerous current and proposed federal regulations. (“Coal-Fired Power Plants Closing: FirstEnergy Shutting Down 6 Sites In Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland,” Associated Press, 01/26/12), (Paul Gough, “Union members hit hard by coal plant closings,” Pittsburgh Business Times, 10/15/2013)
According to a study conducted by the Heritage Foundation, EPA regulations on coal could cost Pennsylvania 13,205 manufacturing jobs. (“EPA Power Plant Regulations: A Backdoor Energy Tax,” Heritage Foundation, 12/5/2013)
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is 5.7%. The national average stands at 6.3%. (Office of the Lieutenant Governor, “PA Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.7% in April; Lowest Rate Since September 2008,” 5/16/2014), (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Unemployment Situation,” 5/2/2014)