Ken Blackwell
During a recent speech at Cleveland State University focused on small business in Ohio, President Obama described a goal of “knocking down barriers that stand in the way of your growth.” Unfortunately, his EPA couldn’t be more in the dark about how to translate that message into practice – with the agency poised to adopt more than 30 new, major regulations and over 170 major policy rules in the next several months.

Even with 14 million Americans out of work and an economy still searching for light at the end of the tunnel, the EPA is poised to enact a series of back-door mandates that will stifle economic growth. And with the speed that this runaway train is traveling, people in states like Ohio should be scared of the “Train Wreck” headed towards a town near you.

Unfortunately, everyday Americans may not realize the impact of the EPA’s “Train Wreck” of new regulations on jobs, the economy and price of essential energy until it’s too late. The truth is, even the EPA itself doesn’t quite know what these regulations might cost to implement – although various outside analysts seem to agree that, at minimum, the 10 major rules that the EPA issued in 2010 could cost the economy at least $23 billion and nearly one million jobs.

No one can say for sure how my home state,Ohio,will be impacted; we do know that Ohioans will not fare well. That’s because coal generates close to 90 percent of net electricity in Ohio and energy consumption in the state’s industrial sector ranks among the highest in the nation. Put another way, the EPA’s “Train Wreck” will destroy Ohio’s main electricity source.

According to analysts, this assault on Ohio’s coal-burning power plants transfers directly into at least 10 plant shutdowns and over 1,000 job losses. According to a report from the United Mine Workers of America, national job losses associated with the closure of EPA-targeted coal units could be significant, amounting to more than 50,000 jobs in the coal, utility and rail industries. With Ohio’s unemployment rate still above 9 percent, the EPA “Train Wreck” would clearly be a major blow to my state.

But the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. and the environmental groups’ intent on stopping the use of coal in America aren’t worried about these good-paying, blue collar jobs in Ohio. Unfortunately for us, they consider the EPA’s “Train Wreck” to be an effective means to an end. An end to coal for sure.


Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at Townhall.com, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
 
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