obama’s war on coal and his promise to bankrupt the coal industry has really hurt a lot of people…
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has enacted three significant regulations for new air emission standards with an annual cost expected to total more than $13 billion. Several more, including two proposed rules dealing with air and coal ash, could cost an additional $20 billion to $90 billion annually, according to a recent energy report by the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
The coal industry estimates its labor force at 135,000— 2,000 who lost their jobs this year. Another 10,000 layoffs in direct and related jobs are expected in the coming months, and job loss estimates leaked from the Obama administration on the effects of just one water rule predicted another 7,000 coal jobs would be eliminated.
The regulatory barrage is expected to close 175 coal-fired electric generating units, and effectively bans the opening of any new coal-fired power plants, diminishing the reliability of electricity and increasing the cost across half the nation, the Senate report said.
“I think the EPA is doing real harm to the United States with their heavy-handed activities,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), policy committee chairman and the report’s author. “It’s not just the coal plants that are suffering, it’s the entire communities because of the jobs related to it.”
“Energy security is part of our economic security and our national security, and coal is the most available, affordable reliable and secure source of energy that we have in America,” Barrasso said. “We have hundreds of years of supply, we cannot as a nation allow this to become a stranded asset.”
The Senate report expressed concerns from power companies they would be forced out of business because the upgrades are too expensive. Southern Company, a utility that covers states from Mississippi to Georgia, said electricity rationing is almost inevitable if the EPA’s timelines cannot be met.
“The cost of those regulations are real, but the benefits are unknown,” Barrasso said. “The EPA seems to be held hostage by environmental extremists, who seem to not want us to use fossil fuels of any sort.”
The U.S. has more than 1,400 coal-fired electric generating units at more than 600 power plants that produce nearly half of the country’s electricity to 60 million homes and 3.4 million businesses.
By regulating coal into oblivion, President Obama hopes that preferred alternative energy sources like wind and sun can be more competitive, Barrasso said.
What environmentalists and the administration don’t talk about, is that solar power alone would triple household electrical bills from $200 a month to $700 a month, according to a Heritage Foundation study.
The Obama administration has been fairly transparent when it comes to its animosity towards the coal industry, which it blames as a substantial cause of climate change.
“If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can—it’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama famously declared during his 2008 campaign.
Vice President Joe Biden was equally blunt on the campaign trail. “We’re not supporting clean coal. Guess what, China is building two every week. Two dirty coal plants. And it’s polluting the United States, it’s causing people to die.”
The EPA has even gone so far as to impose a climate change litmus test on American coal exports to China, Barrasso said.
“This is an American product that the president is attacking both at home, and its use abroad,” Barrasso said.
Biden was asked in 2008 which posed the most immediate threat to Americans— coal, terrorists, or high-fructose corn syrup. In order, he responded: “Air that has too much coal in it, corn syrup next, then a terrorist attack.”
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, launched his own war against the Obama administration in a campaign ad last week titled “Coal Town.”
“Since the day I became governor, I fought the Obama administration’s war on coal. I took them to court and we won. I won’t let anyone push us around,” Tomblin says in the ad.
The Democratic mountain stronghold showed Obama what it thought of the anti-coal policies when voters threw 42 percent of their support to the president’s challenger in the May party primary—an inmate doing time in a Texas federal prison for extortion.
“People think we are crying wolf but these anti-coal polices are going to cripple this nation,” Black said. “I’m all for taking care of the environment—I don’t think there is anyone who loves being in the hills more than coal miners and we respect it.”