Montgomery, Alabama — Robert Kennedy Jr.’s mission to stop the export of U.S. produced coal is a threat to thousands of high-paying Alabama jobs, according to JobKeeper Alliance. The job-focused nonprofit organization warns that Nelson Brooke, an employee of Black Warrior Riverkeeper, is working to advance Kennedy’s anti-coal export agenda in Alabama.
Nelson Brooke and Black Warrior Riverkeeper have been vocal opponents of several new coal mining operations that are planning to mine in Alabama’s Black Warrior Basin.
JobKeeper says the opposition to these projects led by Nelson Brooke is really about stopping the export of Alabama coal. The group says their claim is supported by a photo published by the Huffington Post, showing Brooke actively participating in an anti-coal export rally led by Robert Kennedy Jr. in Portland, Oregon last May.
A week before Nelson Brooke attended the anti-coal export rally, he spoke out against the incentive bill passed by the Alabama legislature that helped bring a 1.2 billion dollar coal mining project to Alabama that is slated to create 450 new jobs paying an average annual salary of $125,000. During an interview with CBS 42 in Birmingham, Brooke said “unfortunately our state’s leaders think that polluting industries should be given handouts and that’s been the case for a long, long time. Them giving tax breaks to get this mine open quicker is a sham.”
Rep. Bill Roberts (R-Jasper) who sponsored the tax incentive bill for the coal mining industry sees things differently. “This 1.2 billion dollar coal mining project and the hundreds of jobs it will create would not be coming to Alabama without the incentive bill we passed,” Roberts said. “The investment Walter Energy is making in our state is twice as large as Airbus, so I think it makes sense for us to offer both companies the same type incentive package.”
Patrick Cagle, Executive Director of JobKeeper, says that stopping the export of Alabama-produced coal would send thousands of high-paying jobs overseas and devastate our state’s economy. “These new coal mining jobs are important to Alabama, and we are going to protect them,” Cagle said. “With the addition of these 450 new jobs, the coal industry will employ more Alabamians than the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance and the future Airbus assembly plant coming to Mobile, combined.”
JobKeeper Alliance supports measures that preserve Alabama’s natural assets and protects the environment, but believes those measures don’t have to come at the expense of working-class jobs. The Alliance is committed to combating misinformation from groups that seek to use the public’s concern for the environment to advance extremist job-killing agendas.