Former Kentucky Coal Miner to Attend State of the Union as Guest of Senator McConnell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that a 4th-generation coal miner, Howard Abshire of Pike County, Kentucky, will be his guest at the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Mr. Abshire, who lost his job at Fortress Resources, McCoy Elkhorn Division, after the mine shut down, is temporarily employed in eastern Kentucky working to remove mining equipment from closed mines.

“I am honored that Howard accepted my invitation to attend the President’s final State of the Union Address, and I am glad to welcome him and his wife, Wray Lynn, to the U.S. Capitol,” Senator McConnell said. “Howard, who was a proud Kentucky coal miner, represents the hard-working lifestyle of many people in eastern Kentucky. He has spent most of his life working in underground mines to help power our nation; however, the President’s War on Coal has devastated coal country and unfortunately contributed to the loss of thousands of jobs in Kentucky, one of which was Howard’s.”

“I want to thank Senator McConnell for thinking of eastern Kentucky and inviting me and my wife to attend the State of the Union address. It is a privilege to represent the coal miners in Kentucky at this historic event,” Abshire said.

Abshire is a graduate of Pikeville College and was an intern for U.S. Congressman Carl D. Perkins (D-Ky.)

In 2013, Mr. Abshire participated in Senator McConnell’s listening session in Pikeville, Kentucky, on the impact of EPA’s coal regulations. During the event, Howard held up a piece of coal to show what is at stake in the President’s War on Coal and said, “This is coal… this keeps the lights on. We’re hurting. We need help. We don’t want to be bailed out. We want to work.”

Related Issues: Economy, Regulations, Coal, State of the Union, Middle Class