Tuesday, June 10, 2014

President Obama's War on Coal, by Phil Roe, Congressman 1st District TN

Phil Roe
On Monday, the Obama administration unveiled a controversial plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30% by 2030. This climate change agenda is so misguided and unpopular with the American people that the president couldn’t even get it passed through a Democrat-led House and Senate back in 2009. Now, despite the fact his Administration believed then it needed the explicit authority of Congress to act but failed to get it, they are planning to move ahead with their war on coal – something that will surely hit consumers in the pocketbook and hurt job creation.

We know that this administration has little concern about the cost of energy rising for consumers. While campaigning in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants…natural gas, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” I think at a time when many Americans are still struggling to find work, it is outrageous to think we would require them to pay more to heat their homes or run their businesses.

The rule would require states to determine how to meet targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and submit a plan to the administration by 2017. There is no doubt the targets will have a devastating impact on the coal industry, will cost jobs and will drive up energy costs for consumers. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study projected that a similar plan would result in 224,000 fewer jobs each year and an annual cost of about $51 billion. It’s no secret that these costs will be passed along to families in the form of higher costs and lost work opportunities.

Coal accounts for 37 percent of U.S. electricity production, despite the administration’s efforts to destroy this industry. It’s clear that we will need coal for the foreseeable future, but this proposal will make one of our least expensive and most reliable sources of energy more costly for families while killing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Even if the United States cuts our carbon emissions, other nations aren’t guaranteed to do the same. The president hopes others will follow our lead, but I can’t see any world leader that would be willing to put themselves at a competitive disadvantage, particularly when energy demands are increasing in the developing world. Other countries see the value of coal—while we’re closing our power plants down, they are building new ones.

President Obama needs to understand that changing his strategy on Cap-and-Tax does not change the ugly truth: this is a job-killer that will greatly harm the economy. It will put the United States at a disadvantage on the world stage, and completely remove any hope of becoming energy independent.
I’ve said it time and time again: we must pursue a true all-of-the-above energy plan that includes oil, natural gas, and coal. That means exploring for oil and gas in Alaska, on the Outer Continental Shelf and in Western shale formations. We should encourage the development of technologies that allow us to use our vast supply of coal in a more environmentally-responsible manner. And we should continue to develop our massive natural gas reserves. At the same time, we must develop and deploy alternative energy sources and technologies including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy. Reliable, emission-free nuclear power must also be part of the equation, and we should work to dispose of waste through a central disposal site or by reprocessing.

Affordable energy is essential for economic growth and the wellbeing of American families, but unfortunately, it seems that President Obama and members of his administration just don’t get it. Please rest assured that I will continue to adamantly oppose this proposal and will take every opportunity I have to rein in Obama’s out-of-control EPA.

My Comment: I agree with the above essay by Congressman Roe. We must pursue an "all of the above" energy policy. Unfortunately many of the environmentalist who oppose coal also oppose the alternatives such as natural gas obtained by fracking and nuclear power. They have no  plan except the pipe dream of "renewables." While wind and solar may play a roll, we cannot produce the energy we need from these sources. I am also disappointed that any policy that looks at curtailing carbon emissions does not have a cost-benefit analysis requirement. With CO2 increasing, what is the benefit of reducing the CO2 output of any one particular source that would simply slow that rate of increase. Is the loss of  loss of jobs and increased cost of energy worth that particular amount of reduced CO2?  There should be some logic to the decision making process. I am also very concerned about President Obama's continued abuse of authority and bypassing Congress, whether it is following the Affordable Care Act law, immigration law, swapping five high lever terrorist for a probably American traitor in violation of the requirement to inform Congress, or arbitrarily imposing CO2 limits. Obama is very close to crossing the line into dictatorship, if it has not already been crossed.

Obama was asked to do what he is doing my our own Metro Council. To see the action our Metro Council unanimously  took to urge Obama's current course of action follow this link: Do you like the new EPA regs that will raise your electric bill and cost jobs? If so, thank your councilman.

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