The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has become a clear and present danger to the American people, American business and the struggling American economy. This week the EPA scored another triumph in the agency’s “war on coal.”
This week, we have seen the Senate Democrats (with the assistance of five Republicans) approve a new EPA regulation that will severely damage the coal industry in America.
A top Obama EPA official discussed the Obama Administration’s plan to destroy the coal industry at a recent Yale University gathering of environmentalists. (Video) EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding told the Yale University gathering, “Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country,” that “if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem.”
The new EPA regulation was written to cut toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants. The regulation would force producers to install pollution-control devices or shut coal plants and substitute natural gas or wind generation. The EPA, which has kept the coal industry in its crosshairs throughout the Obama administration, had approved the new regulations in December.
The Obama administration is attempting to force Americans use renewable energy, wind, solar, anything other than coal, to heat and light their homes. The fact that coal is relatively cheap and abundant doesn’t matter. It’s not clean enough, so it must go. That means higher electricity bills for consumers because complying will cost utility companies huge amounts of money.
In the midst of a brutal recession, the Obama administration has embarked on an ambitious program of energy behavior modification because the elitist in this administration feel that America needs the bitter medicine that they are administering. The EPA is the administration’s chief doctor with thousands of anti-business and anti-consumer regulations.
The immediate results of the Obama administration’s “war on coal” were seen yesterday when Arch Coal announced the layoffs of 750 coal miners in the Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coalfields of Appalachia.
“This is just a start, I think,” said Dennis Ray Noble, the judge-executive of Perry County, which he estimated has lost about 30 percent of its mining jobs in the last year and the jobless rate is 12.4 percent.
The coal miners of West Virginia should feel betrayed because their senior senator, Jay Rockefeller, broke with the rest of his state’s Congressional delegation and in a major speech on the floor of the Senate, blasted West Virginia’s bedrock industry.
He was careful to avoid criticizing the mining of coal but he did blast the industry in general for not innovating enough. It was a deft attempt to remain on the side of the voters while going after the industry that supports them. Rockefeller voted against the resolution to disapprove the EPA regulations.
“I don’t support this Resolution of Disapproval because it does nothing to embrace coal’s potential,” Rockefeller said. “It moves us backward, not forward. And unless this industry aggressively leans into the future, coal miners will lose the most. It’s not too late for the coal industry to step up and lead by embracing the realities of today and creating a sustainable future. We need a bold partner, innovation and major public and private investments.”
With a different opinion Senator Joe Manchin said, “We have this agency stepping way beyond its boundaries. It’s putting a tremendous burden on our working Americans.” Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who supported the measure, said before the vote.
Ever victory that the EPA wins in the “war on coal” spells economic defeat for American consumers, American businesses and the American economy.