Folks, conservatives (and some Democrats) are doing all they can to prevent the implementation of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which could be the death knell for the coal industry; an ambitious agenda that seeks to cut greenhouse gas emission by at least 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. It’s a job killer, which also places fixed-income seniors and pretty much every state that voted for Mitt Romney in the crosshairs. Oh, and did I mention that energy costs are set to spike if this new regulatory nightmare is enacted, along with Obamacare premiums. It’s a mess, and it’s a war that President Obama is winning so far.
Sean Hackbarth of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offered the grisly details earlier this month. Yes, some market forces have been at play with coal–and the acceleration of natural gas exploration surely has hurt the industry. But let’s not kid ourselves that Obama’s red tape helped in mending these hits to coal [Bold text indicates Energy Information Administration]:
But no one can seriously argue that the Obama’s regulatory attacks on coal haven’t played a major role. Here’s one example from the Energy Information Administration:
About 30% of the coal capacity that retired in 2015 occurred in April, which is when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule went into effect.
This rule was struck down by the Supreme Court in July 2015, but as EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy bragged, the damage was done. "Over 50 GW of affordable, reliable power plants have been shuttered by an illegally crafted" mercury rule, writes Heath Knakmuhs of the Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Another example is the Goliath of regulatory attacks on coal: EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The regulations will force states to abandon reliable coal-fired power plants and reconfigure their electrical systems to reduce U.S. carbon emissions.
Thankfully the Supreme Court delayed EPA from implementing it until all legal challenges were settled. A Morning Consult poll found that by more than 2-to-1 Americans support SCOTUS’ action.
Yet, if things go south–and coal is eviscerated by this environmental agenda–we’re looking at the cannibalization of at least 125,000 jobs, with $650 billion in lost economic activity over the next ten years. Not to mention scores of local communities ravaged thanks to ineffective and egregiously expensive alternative energy methods adored by the political left.