The ongoing regulatory assault on the coal industry by the President continues. Major coal producer announces plans to lay off 1,100 West Virginia coal miners by mid-October.
Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) gave notice to coal workers in West Virginia last week that more than 5.5% of their workforce will be reduced by mid-October.
“These actions are being triggered by persistent weakness in U.S. and overseas coal demand and depressed price levels, along with government regulations that are causing electric utilities to close coal-fired power plants and forgo new construction,” Alpha said.
In June of this year, the President used executive authority to take his strongest action yet against climate change, making unprecedented changes to EPA regulations. Alpha’s jobs in West Virginia are just a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of jobs that are expected to be lost as a result of Obama’s new rules for coal producers.
Make no mistake, Obama’s war on coal is real and it’s on the offensive. It will affect every American.
Coal currently comprises 37% of all electric power generation capacity in the U.S., just behind natural gas. It accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, making it a primary target for global warming nazis.
Since coal is a cheap energy source, the continued war on coal will cause electricity rates to skyrocket, just as we were promised six years ago.
As a candidate in 2008, Obama said he would put in place new policies that would force electricity rates to skyrocket out of “necessity”. Apparently it helped him get elected President. Higher energy rates must be popular with liberals and progressives. He’s keeping his promise.
Here is the 2008 video clip:
It is estimated that one in five coal plants will be shutting down.
When Alpha made the announcement to the families in West Virginia, they cited ramped-up regulatory assault on the industry as their reason. The company’s analysis showed EPA regulations are responsible for up to 360 coal-fired power plants shutting down completely or converting to natural gas. The agency’s newest emissions regulations are expected to eliminate more coal-fueled electricity in the coming year than in the previous three years.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) made a statement directly following Obama’s executive actions on EPA regulations:
The new EPA rules announced by the Obama Administration will cripple the coal industry and deprive Americans from jobs, whether they are employed by coal mines or related power plants, or employed in energy dependent business such as manufacturing or technology businesses.
These rules will not only drive up electric bills, but also threaten the reliability of the nation’s electric grid and make it harder for American manufacturers to compete in the world market. Once again, President Obama is more concerned with the desires of billionaire campaign contributors and placating extremist special interests than helping American workers and families escape the failed Obama economy. The legislation I introduced earlier this year, the American Energy Renaissance Act would specifically halt these job-killing regulations and encourage the creation of good-paying energy jobs.
The EPA is currently working on more regulations for Obama to be finalized in June of 2015. Republicans have had no success in overturning Obama’s new EPA regulations for coal plants thus far.
Mitch McConnell has introduced a parliamentary tactic known as the Congressional Review Act to overturn the new regulations for coal plants. Unfortunately, even if McConnell’s resolution is successful, it will require a Republican Senate and control of the White House to begin to roll back the damage done by Obama’s bureaucrats.
For a timeline and more details on Obama’s War on Coal, see this Townhall Tipsheet.