Mike Turner

The bureaucratic hammer of the Obama administration has struck again with this week’s new EPA regulations.

They require coal-powered plants to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent from their 2005 levels by the year 2030. Even The New York Times conceded such a step is “unprecedented” in the annals of our regulatory history and that it could shut down hundreds of plants.

In other words, the war on coal has been renewed for its final push in Obama’s second-term. The move puts jobs on the line, posts more shutters on a vital component of American energy at a time when we need to be unleashing our potential more than ever, and is saddling consumers with higher costs.

This kind of assault on blue-collar workers and American electricity is unprecedented, but can we really say we didn’t expect it from the president who said electricity rates would “necessarily skyrocket” on his watch?

A study from the Institute of 21st Century Energy has already shown how my home state of Oklahoma will be impacted.

According to this study, Oklahoma, along with Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, is likely to see an annual GDP decrease of roughly $8.2 billion over the course of the next 16 years. That also equates to an annual loss of 36,000 jobs. In total, the study estimates $51 billion in annual economic losses, and 224,000 in annual job losses.

As for increases in electricity costs, Oklahoma could be facing up to $1.6 billion in higher costs annually. Other regions of the country are facing increases as high as $6.6 billion.

So – Team Obama is raising costs, killing jobs, and sidelining economic growth for the sake of pacifying the agenda of radical environmentalists who want to kill coal.

I don’t think that’s the kind of ‘Hope and Change’ folks had in mind.

These kind of regulatory shenanigans are exactly what I’ve taken the fight to since being elected to the Oklahoma state House. I helped author a bill halting overbearing and unwarranted green subsidies because we should’ve stopped allowing government to dictate its preferences in the free market yesterday.

Senate Bill 1456 leveled the playing field between competing energy sources. For too long we’d left the playing field unleveled, not accounting for the higher infrastructure costs that come with solar and wind. It amounted to a subsidy that just wasn’t fair.

Mike Turner

Mike Turner is a state representative and Republican candidate for Oklahoma's 5th congressional district.