Obama: We’ll bankrupt any new coal plants

posted at 10:40 am on November 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The folks at Naked Emperor News have unearthed another interesting nugget from a Barack Obama interview from months ago. In January 2008, Obama spoke about his approach to global warming and cap-and-trade systems, and he had a warning for anyone foolish enough to invest in coal:

So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — 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.

Yesterday, we looked at Obama’s notions of government sending “price signals” to change behavior that it finds objectionable, especially on energy.  This is the way Obama intends to do it.  Coal provides 49% of domestic electrical power, and any rise in the cost of producing that energy will raise its cost to consumers and reduce the amount produced.

This comes as no great shock, pun intended.  Obama already called for a 15% reduction in demand for electricity — at the same time he and his allies want transportation to switch from gasoline to electricity.  Obama never explained this particular contradiction.  How does one switch tens of millions of vehicles from gasoline to electricity while not Increasing demand, let alone by cutting it 15%?  And when trying to break free from a recession, the nation will need greater production in energy, not a reduction.

The coal-based economics of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and other states will be the first to feel this new policy.  Let’s hope the voters there pay attention.

Addendum: If anyone has a transcript from this interview, let me know.

Update: Free Republic transcribed this video (via Gateway Pundit):

Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else’s out there.

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It’s just that it will bankrupt them.

I’d still like to get a transcript of the entire interview.  I believe that the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Obama in January of this year, but they have no transcript on their site.  That seems very odd for a newspaper interview, especially one in which they’ve posted video.

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Anybody that votes for this demmie god i do not want to hear you bitch and moan when you power bill goes up 100%.That is if you can get any power.Rush was so right when he said this little man child has no clue of what he is saying.

thmcbb on November 2, 2008 at 10:37 PM

Did Obama just lose Penn and W Va among others?

Yakko77 on November 2, 2008 at 11:20 PM

I think Pennsylvania just went to the red column.

Dig here, dig now, pay less.

Mojave Mark on November 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM

I’ve watched the entire tape…and Obama said exactly whats on the audio tape.

I don’t know why this wasn’t put out before.

Is it too late to be a game changer in coal producing states? I hope not.

monique on November 2, 2008 at 11:57 PM

United Mine Workers endorsed Obama way back in March. Their weak argument was ” Obama is from a Coal State”. Unions against the rank and file as usual.


Dennis D on November 2, 2008 at 7:36 PM

We need to go to their contact form and make sure they understand thier candidate is getting ready to bankrupt the very people they claim to represent.

jdawg on November 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM

McCain is stopping tomorrow at the TriCities airport in NE Tennessee. This is right on the border of Va (probably why he is stopping) and coal is a BIG economic factor in that region. It would be awesome if McCain himself called Obama out on the quote from that location. That would be the headlines that would go out all over Virginia coal country from the TriCities news outlets. That is also the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. – a major utilizer of coal. That is also an area where Gov. Tim Kaine himself says a new coal-burning power plant is necessary!

medguy on November 3, 2008 at 12:43 AM

Better enjoy the sunshine yourself there, tough guy. My daughters are 20 and 18, and their friends are the ones who are voting in their first Presidential election, and this is what they’ve been taught by the socialists that run our elementary and high schools, and by our colleges:

– coal is filthy, dirty, and it was used in coal-burning stoves 100 years ago, and people die from it.

– we don’t need coal – we can just replace it will solar power and wind power, silly. Only a neanderthal would fail to see that.

– we don’t need nuclear (yuck!) power, oil, gasoline, or any of that yucky stuff; we can just get our energy from clean, renewable energy sources. Everyone in Hollywood says so, and my teachers say so, too!

They don’t know nothin’ about your UK author, or about where the power to run their hair straighteners and laptops comes from, and they don’t care. You plug it in, and it works. They don’t have electricity bills.

Enjoy the sunshine, sport.

Jaibones on November 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM

I am so tired of people posting here not following links, and, apparently, not even reading the post to which they replied. The book I am referring gives real world numbers about energy and not green fantasies. This is a quote from the article regarding wind and wave renewable energy.

We would have literally rebuilt the British Isles as a single mighty renewable generator, pouring concrete and erecting steel on a scale so far matched only by human habitation — industrialising the land and sea in a way that would make intensive agribusiness look like a wildlife refuge. And still we’d be importing power.

This is a book written by a scientist doing what scientists are suppose to do. Study a problem and come up with real world analysis. I think he did a fine job, but you be the judge.

DFCtomm on November 3, 2008 at 1:17 AM

So the SF Comical has been sitting on this for 10 months?

Heh. The best result of Obama losing this election, (which he will), is that the whatever shreds of credibility the MSM still has will be completely blown away and what we’ve known for a long time, that is, they’re a bunch of partisan hacks, will be obvious to everyone.

And I am soooo looking forward to that.

OregonMuse on November 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM

If any of you live in these areas, or heck, even if you dont, you NEEDto get this to the local tv stations! This is HUGE and could make a difference in key states. BUT it has to be aired by the local stations.

bucsox79 on November 3, 2008 at 12:25 PM

consider these excerpts from the Congressional Record of 1963 and see how the communist agenda for this country is being fulfilled today:

Communist Goals (1963) Congressional Record–Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963


Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

[From “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen]

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing [in 1963] in the Congo.)
13. Do away with all loyalty oaths. [author’s note: e.g. The Pledge of Allegiance]
15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history…
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use “united force” to solve economic, political or social problems.
45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Read the entire document at http://www.rense.com/general32/americ.htm


Microfilm: California State University at San Jose Clark Library, Government Floor Phone (408)924-2770 Microfilm Call Number: J 11.R5

Congressional Record, Vol. 109 88th Congress, 1st Session Appendix Pages A1-A2842 Jan. 9-May 7, 1963 Reel 12

That was 1963. Now in 45 years later Americans are on the brink of electing a man who is documented to be a Socialist and Marxist, and to give control of our legislative branches of government over elected officials who, by any other name, are communists.

Barak Obama was a member of the Illinois socialist New Party in the mid-1990s (http://www.audacityofhypocrisy.com/obamacrimescom/). The New Party was the creation of the quasi-Marxist Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the radical community organization ACORN. The Communist Party splinter group Committees of Correspondence (CoC) was also involved.

albaturkey on November 3, 2008 at 1:31 PM

If we listen, he eventually speaks the truth about what he intends to do – bankrupt coal, spread the wealth – more like spreading the bankruptcy. Time is too short!!! Listen up people!!

GOTMOBI on November 3, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Here is a preview of the headlines you will see over the next 4 years…


Now Controls 25% Of Worlds Oil

Gasoline Remains Under $6.00 A Gallon

Across The Board Tax Hike May Be Necessary To Spur Recovery

President Obama Decries Move, Pleads With UN For Sanctions

President Obama Demands UN Sanctions

Obama urges restraint, contemplates sending aid


Older Patients Often Turned Away

Up From 6.1% A Year Ago

Union Membership Expected To Triple on Demise Of The “Secret Ballot”

Businesses struggle under weight of union demands, higher taxes


But No Sign Of Recovery In Sight

A vote for OBAMA is a vote for change you won’t believe!

krisdm8 on November 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM

So much spinning, so much bullsh*t taking his words out of context…

The real quote:

“That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants are being built, they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted-down caps that are imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches…

…But this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion. Because the fact of the matter is, is that right now we are getting a lot of our energy from coal. And China is building a coal-powered plant once a week. So what we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it. If we can’t, then we’re gonna still be working on alternatives.”


Dave Rywall on November 3, 2008 at 2:12 PM

The Obama plan (the communist plan) is to keep the US dependant of foreign oil with no drilling, no nuclear power, no coal plants so that the arab dogs can dictate to the US to stop supporting Israel or else, no more oil

tocoloro on November 3, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Here is a video on John McCain from 1991:


Interesting video on how pork barrel junk is placed in bills that doesn’t need to be in bills.

userboo on November 3, 2008 at 3:37 PM

actually watching the entire video in context actually in my opinion defeats the argument that was made. He is clearly talking about the old traditional form of coal producing and not clean coal. We cant bash libs for skewing things and then go right around and do the same thing…

Conservator23 on November 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM

LOOK B4 YOU LEAP on November 3, 2008 at 3:44 PM