Coal hurting Obama’s chances in swing states
posted at 10:25 am on March 7, 2012 by Jazz Shaw
Hot Air Memo to GOP:
When you finish up letting the Democrats lead you around by the nose over things like which radio show host said what about who and where to buy the cheapest birth control pills, you might want to stop by some of the Rust Belt swing states and ask the folks there how things are going. In particular, check in with them in terms of how much it will be costing each voter this summer to keep the lights turned on and whether or not the workers at a number of coal fired power plants know where to go file for unemployment.
As gasoline prices continue to rise and keep the heat on President Obama’s energy policies, critics also are accusing the president of shifting support away from the coal industry, a major source of fuel and jobs in several battleground states, including Colorado, Michigan and Ohio.
Lawmakers on both sides of the partisan aisle say Obama administration environmental regulations aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissionsare poised to hit jobs and consumers harder than the Keystone XL decision at the same time the president seems to have abandoned his stated support for the coal industry and clean-coal technology…
In late February, a bipartisan group of 219 members of Congress led by Reps. Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, and John Barrow, Georgia Democrat, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget calling for a stop to the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule-making.
“Affordable, reliable electricity is critical to keeping and growing jobs in the United States, and such a standard will likely drive up energy prices and threaten domestic jobs,” they wrote. “Forcing a transition to commercially unproven technologies could send thousands of jobs overseas and raise electricity rates on families and seniors at a time when the nation can least afford it.”
We’re talking about an estimated 180,000 jobs between direct power plant employment and related support industry activity. We’re also looking at a hit to the power grid amounting to 12% of the electricity we generate. As those plants go offline, something is going to have to take up the slack, and even three new nuclear power plants won’t manage it. (Not to mention they won’t be on line for at least four years, if not longer.)
I know this may seem like dry, boring stuff to some of you busy people in Washington, DC. It’s just not one of those sexy, exciting topics that get you face time on the Sunday morning shows. But if you want to impress the people in some of the most critical states in the fall battle, try keeping them employed and stopping their utility bills from going through the roof. What a novel idea, eh?