Tom Borelli

While the liberal media obsesses with jobs losses from Bain Capital’s private equity investments, it conveniently ignores the mounting economic cost of President Obama’s command and control energy policy that has destroyed billions of dollars in investment capital in the coal and renewable energy sectors.

The high profile bankruptcy of Solyndra that drew initial attention to Obama’s aggressive support of renewable energy and highlighted his failed business acumen will be only the tip of the iceberg.

With such staggering losses in capital currently being accumulated in publically traded companies, additional bankruptcies and massive job losses will soon follow.

Using the regulatory controls of the Executive Branch, Obama wanted to bankrupt the coal industry and replace its electricity production with renewable energy.

Obama’s centralized planning failed.

The President’s strategy to bankrupt the coal industry is on track, but the renewable energy sector is also suffering catastrophic losses for investors trying to cash-in on Obama’s clean energy economy.

The President’s energy policy is having devastating consequences for coal mining stocks and the plummeting share price correlates with Obama’s regulatory assault.

On July 6, 2011 when the EPA issued the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), Peabody – the largest coal company – had a closing share price of about $60 a share. By the time the EPA followed with the Utility MACT Rule – another regulation that targets coal-fired utilities – in December 2011, Peabody’s closing price was $34.

When the EPA issued its proposed rule to limit greenhouse gases from power plants on March 27, 2012, Peabody was trading at $29 and during the second week of June it’s trading around $23. That’s about a 60% drop in price in less than a year.

Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, James River Coal Company and Patriot Coal – smaller coal companies – suffered devastating losses of about 75, 71, 84 and 89 percent respectively, during the same period.

The crashing of these stocks simply reflects the staggering regulatory cost of these regulations on utilities – the coal company’s customers. The Utility MACT Rule, for example, is expected to cost about $10 billion a year and the proposed greenhouse gas rule, if enacted, would be a

de-facto ban on new construction of coal power plants.

It’s been estimated that 57 to 140 coal-fired power plants will be closed, all or in part, due to the Utility MACT and CSAPR Rules.

Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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