|Kevin Crutchfield of ANR.|
Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it was cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.That's a lot of layoffs.
The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations.Not good.
Support positions will also be cut proportionally as Alpha reduces its operating regions from four to two.
Crutchfield said the shutdowns and layoffs are a necessary part of ensuring Alpha survives in what has become a difficult U.S. market, where coal companies face a dual challenge: Power plants are shifting to cheap, abundant natural gas, while companies like his face "a regulatory environment that's aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal."A regualtory environment that's aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal? Who would want to do that?!
Well, wait a minute. We rely on that coal production for coal powered electrical generation. That is the primary means of electrical generation for the eastern seaboard.
One question, Mr. Obama: How are we going to replace all that energy?