Townhall Magazine’s April 2014 issue is here! Subscribe now for an exclusive sneak peak at these can't-miss articles:
- *Cover Story* - Obama’s War on Coal
President Obama promised to send electricity prices skyrocketing, and his minions at the EPA are delivering on that promise. Americans for Tax Reform’s Chris Prandoni takes a detailed look at how Obama is using the power of the regulatory state to wipe out the coal industry.
- Wind Blows
It subsidizes millionaires, raises energy costs, and destroys the environment. Other than that, wind energy is awesome. Townhall Magazine contributing editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich travels to Texas to examine the true costs of wind power.
- Clean Energy Isn’t Clean
Freelance journalist Brian McNicoll takes a look behind the dirty reality of clean energy. From solar, to hydro, to wind, there are big environmental drawbacks to every alternative energy source.
- Should Marijuana Be Legal?
Townhall editors Leah Barkoukis and Christine Rousselle debate whether or not the federal government should pull the plug on the War on Drugs.
- Every Patient Deserves a “Right to Try”
The federal government is allowing terminally ill patients to suffer while the FDA drags out the approval process. Townhall contributing editor and Fox News contributor Mary Katherine Ham looks at how some states are fighting back.
Each of these features will be a available in full, on-line, after April 1st. But if you want to get them first, you have to subscribe!
Excerpted from Townhall Magazine's April cover story, "Obama's War on Coal," by Chris Prandoni:
Campaigning in San Francisco, California, in 2008, then-Sen- ator Obama promised to send electricity costs “skyrocketing” by making life difficult for coal power plants. Since assuming of- fice, President Obama has made good on that promise by me- thodically dismantling America’s coal industry.
Using the Environmental Protection Agency as its primary means of assault, the Obama administration has undermined every phase of the coal production process. This president doesn’t want Americans to mine coal, transport coal, or export coal. And they definitely
do not want utilities burning it so you can turn on your lights. At first blush, it might seem like these policies only affect the small mining towns in Western Kentucky or the South Carolina factory workers that make excavation equipment. But the implications of Obama’s War on Coal are far reaching: 300 of America’s coal plants will close due to EPA policies by 2025. That’s 44,000 megawatts of generating capacity in 33 states gone. Electricity rates will “necessarily skyrocket” and grid stability may be threatened. Most troubling, these dramatic changes to American energy policy are being implemented by lawyers and unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies. Congress has passed no new laws ordering Americans to consume less coal. In fact, the last time Democrats tried to legislate these anti-energy policies they were run out of town.
The Failed Legislative Front
When Obama assumed office in 2009, many feared that legislation designed to increase your electricity bills and gasoline prices was inevitable. Democrats had a huge majority in the House and a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate. The White House, and even the 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain had endorsed a cap-and-trade program. Democrats calculated that a McCain-endorsed cap-and-trade style program represented their best chance to inflate the cost of energy; of course, such legislation was sold under different, false pretenses.
After carving out provisions for essential industries, thus gaining their support or silence, Democrats thought they had a bill that could become law. On May 15, 2009, months of negotiating and legislative bribery culminated with the introduction of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA). On June 26, 2009, the ACES passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212.
Passage of ACES put enormous pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to get the legislation out of the upper chamber and onto Obama’s desk. But then a funny thing happened, the 111th Congress came and went without the Senate voting on the House-passed ACES. Despite overseeing an astounding Democrat majority, Reid didn’t even have enough votes to bring the bill to the floor.
On November 6, 2010, the American people let Congress know what they thought about Washington D.C. trying to pick their pockets. Of the 19 freshman Democrats who voted for the Waxman-Markey legislation, 12 were sent packing. All in all, a total of 41 Democrats who voted for the bill lost their seat or retired. West Virginia Senate Democratic candidate Joe Manchin even ran a television ad where he literally shot the Waxman-Markey legislation and told viewers “I’ll take dead aim at the Cap and Trade Bill.” Candidate Manchin would go on to win his race as would 63 new House Republicans. The people had spoken; efficient, reliable energy was a voting issue. Politicians that embraced artificial scarcity and expensive electricity bills would be punished.
The Bureaucrats Strike Back
Days after President Obama’s agenda took a self-admitted “shellacking,” he revealed his intent to continue to push restrictive energy policies, saying “cap-and-trade was just one way to skin the cat. It’s not the only way.” Indeed, if Congress was not willing to drive up the cost of energy and unemployment rates, the EPA would. Following the president’s lead, this seemingly innocuous agency has been busy the past five years, amassing unprecedented powers through political maneuvering, increased regulation, and usurpation of congressional powers. And while many businesses have felt...