Prepare for your electric rates to go up, Chevy Jolt drivers.
Under new interpretations of old rules, the EPA will shortly be forcing the shutdown of about 20 percent of coal-generated electric capacity in the United States. Since coal generates about half the electricity demanded in the US, the country will have to find other, more expensive ways of making up about ten percent of electric capacity at a time that the administration wants electric to be the clean fuel of choice.
Maybe Obama doesn’t understand that he can’t import electricity from Brazil.
In addition to the loss of generating capacity, the Commerce Department estimates that the new rules could kill up to 60,000 jobs, says Heritage, while an industry trade group says that the rules will cost $129 billion, according to the Washington Post.
During the 2008 presidential campaign then-Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden both claimed that if elected they would institute policies that make it cost prohibitive for coal-fired plants to operate in the United States.
Looks like this is one promise they’ll keep.
“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can,” Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle in a clip the paper likely tried to suppress, “it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
While the Obama campaign scrambled at the time to say that their comments were taken out of context, Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association issued a statement that rings true today.
“Senator Obama,” said Carey in November 2008, “has revealed himself to be nothing more than a short- sighted, inexperienced politician willing to say anything to get a vote. But today, the nation’s coal industry and those who support it have a better understanding of his true mission, to ‘bankrupt’ our industry, put tens of thousands out of work and cause unprecedented increases in electricity prices.”
The administration is using new interpretations of long-ago passed emission standards- standards that no administration has tried to enforce- along with vague, esoteric “visibility” standards to target older, coal-fired plants. Critics say that the EPA fails to make a case that the plants present a danger to public health or visibility, as the EPA seemed to admit when they issued a stay against adoption of the rules earlier this year.
“The stringency and cost of the new regulations provoked an outpouring of protest and some 5,800 comments” writes Heritage, “citing technical and statutory errors. Some 21 governors and more than 100 Members of Congress also raised objections. Ultimately, EPA officials were forced to acknowledge their failure to ‘calculate standards that fully reflected operational reality.’”
But as Obama tries to shore up his base of support amid blistering criticism from progressive groups, look for Obama to continue to use backdoor regulatory means to enforce, ignore or otherwise interpret laws to benefit special interests that support the president’s agenda.
Earlier this year Obama scrapped Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, instructed the Justice Department to ignore enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act and just this week announced that the administration would be suspending deportation of illegal aliens in an effort to avoid enforcement of immigration laws.
Obama has been subject to criticism from Hispanic leaders, who are still stuck on the Democrat plantation, after the administration bragged that they deported more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration.
In addition, the president has issued more job-killing regulations than any of his predecessors- at least 75 of them through mid-year 2011, at a cost of $38 billion just for adoption. Total economic costs of federal regulations are sky-rocketing to $1.75 trillion says the federal government’s own Small Business Administration.
In short, the coal group got it right in November 2008.
President Obama has revealed himself to be nothing more than a short- sighted, inexperienced politician willing to do anything, saying anything and pay anything to get a vote.
Even while on vacation, day one.
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