|WV Senator Joe Manchin|
The new EPA rulings will finally bring to fruition President Obama's promise his policies will necessarily bankrupt the coal industry.
Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama explained his anti-coal energy policy in an editorial board meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle: "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad." "So if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can - it's just that it will bankrupt them."
But the 2010 elections saw a landslide defeat of those politicians in the house and senate who supported skyrocketing our utility rates through cap and trade and put an end to President Obama's aspirations in a new energy tax.
But that didn't put an end of efforts to kill the coal industry and the day after the landslide defeats of the 2010 elections, President Obama said "Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem."
After that the EPA began to enact regulation by bureaucratic fiat rather than the legislative process.
Even staunch supporters in the labor unions are beginning to wake up to the fact that they are being regulated out of a job if the Obama administration has its way. The Keystone Pipeline rejection already has hit the labor unions hard by halting the creation of 20K plus jobs in the construction industry.
But the heart and soul of Americas labor movement is in the roots of the coal industry and this is where the new EPA regulations will hit the hardest. Cecil Roberts, President of the powerful United Mine Workers of America said recently in a radio interview:
“The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington.”
Roberts blasted Jackson, the EPA administrator, over proposed regulations, which would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Opponents of the regulations, including Roberts, say the new rules would be the death knell of the coal industry.
Roberts wrote in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette::
"We told EPA that as many as 54,000 direct jobs were at risk in the utility, mining and rail transport sectors, in addition to 200,000 jobs in related industries and communities impacted by plant closures.
We also made it clear that we supported the rule's basic objective of reducing mercury and other harmful emissions. Our principal concerns were the inadequate time provided for compliance and the feasibility of meeting some of the proposed emission limits with different types of coal.
But the EPA ignored our concerns. Instead, the agency created a rule that not only will cause far more negative effects on the utility and coal industries than it is willing to admit; the rule will also make it next to impossible for new coal-fired power plants to be built based on current technologies. The consequences for workers and communities would be devastating."
Of course these regulations are done to stave off "Global Warming-morphed into Climate Change", which is not at all a settled science and is hotly disputed in scientific circles. Wouldn't it be wise to have settled scientific confirmation and consensus on a subject before you kill off an industry your economy depends on? Shouldn't the closure of an industry in a representational democracy like the United States be done through legislative process, rather than behind the scenes, clever use of regulation?