As a thank you to President Donald J. Trump for his efforts to revive the coal industry, RJR Mining has named its newest excavator “Trump.” Idle since February 2014, the Cullman mining company has reopened and is operating its largest surface mine to date thanks to Trump’s rollback of onerous Obama era regulations.
“This will be the largest capital investment we have ever made,” said RJR shareholder Randy Johnson. “We will provide more jobs than we ever have. You have restored our confidence, our excitement, and our desire to stay involved.”
Surface mining has a substantial local economic impact. The multimillion-dollar, mega-sized excavators, dozers, and dump trucks used to unearth coal and reclaim the land are all purchased from, and serviced by local companies. RJR expects to spend around $900,000 per month to operate its new mine, which will produce both traditional steam coal and met coal used to make steel.
“We are grateful for President Trump strengthening the economy, creating jobs, and encouraging investment in all sectors, including the coal industry,” said Alabama Coal Association president Patrick Cagle. “We also thank the President for ending the war on coal, but there is still work left to do to keep future administrations from targeting our industry with punitive regulations.”
But for today, Johnson just wants to celebrate the man who enabled the company to come back to life.
“Mr. President, we are extremely proud of you,” said Johnson in a letter he mailed to the White House. “Keep fighting for us and we will stand with you. Let’s Keep America Great! God bless you, your family, your staff and every single person who fights alongside you every day. And, God bless the United States of America.”
The massive $3 million Hitachi 1900 excavator named in honor of Trump was purchased from Tuscaloosa-based Warrior Tractor and Equipment. Company owner Gene Ray Taylor says that Trump’s support of the coal industry has been good for his business, which suffered under Obama.
“We are thankful for President Trump’s decision to protect coal jobs and kick-start our economy,” said Taylor. “When coal mines are doing well, it allows companies like ours to put more people to work. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.”
The Alabama Coal Association serves as the unified voice of the state’s coal producers. Alabama produces around 12.5 million tons of coal each year, 80% of which is high-quality met coal used to make steel and exported globally through the Port of Mobile. Additionally, power generated in-state with Alabama steam coal provides energy security.