Rep. Kelly Sends Invitation to President Obama to Visit Western Pennsylvania Coal Mine

Jul 30, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy

Calls on president to meet Americans most threatened
by EPA’s war on coal ahead of new power plant rule

Rep. Kelly at today’s Capitol Hill press conference with Sen. Mitch McConnell (right) and Jimmy Rose (left), former coal miner, America’s Got Talent star, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran


“I want [President Obama] to get off the back nine and come into the mines”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) officially invited President Barack Obama to accompany him on a tour of a coal mine in Western Pennsylvania yesterday and publicly spoke about the invitation today at a press conference co-hosted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The visit is intended to give the president an opportunity to meet the workers whose jobs are most directly threatened by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean Power Plan proposal. In response to the plan’s announcement last month, Rep. Kelly and Sen. McConnell introduced the Coal Country Protection Act in the House and Senate respectively. Rep. Kelly’s invitation to the president can be viewed here.

Highlights from Rep. Kelly’s press conference remarks:

“I am getting sick and tired of a president that acts like Superman and when he sees coal, he thinks its kryptonite. Mr. President: This isn’t going to kill you. It’s going to make you stronger. It will make America stronger.”

“I want him to get off the back nine and come into the mines. I want him to get his golf cap off and get his hard hat on. I want him to walk the streets. I want him to look into the faces of moms and dads that rely everyday on this precious product and tell them that they’ve got to quit clinging to their Bible and their guns.”

“It is a different day. This is coal’s day in court. This is our chance to stand up and say what we believe in — what we know is right and what we know is true. And we know what is truly American about this: The workhorse of this nation’s economy has always been coal.”

Rep. Kelly first announced his invitation to the president on Monday during an address at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.


Highlights from Rep. Kelly’s Heritage address:

“Why am I here today and what was it that drove me from a black top in Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C.? Until it happens to you, you have no idea — the overreach that these folks have, how deep they can get into what you do and who you are. They can change your complete plan of life. They can change everything that you’ve worked for all your life, with an envelope and a letter.”

“I want to make a public invitation to the President of the United States. I want him to come to Western Pennsylvania. He can talk the talk but I want him to walk the walk. I want him to go through coal towns with me. I want him to face not only those miners, but their wives and kids. And I want him to tell them, ‘What your daddy has been doing, and what your grandpa has been doing, and what your great grandpa has been doing, is horrible.’ … I want him to go 700 feet underground with me. ... I want him to look those people in the eyes. I want to see if he’s as comfortable down there as he is in Hollywood. … I want him to tell them that your communities need to die in order for me to succeed.”

“Coal forever has been the workhorse that has powered American energy. … This country could have never been the great country it is without coal. …We have an advantage now that is just incredible. It’s just incredible. Why would we turn our back on that which made us great, and diminish it in some way to make it sound like its bad?”

NOTE: Rep. Kelly will be providing an in-person testimony at the EPA’s public hearing at the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in Pittsburgh, PA this Friday.

* * * UPDATE: On September 24, 2014, the White House officially declined Rep. Kelly’s invitation. Read Rep. Kelly’s response here.