The Obama admin is trying to keep the “war on coal” covert, but it’s definitely still there

posted at 4:41 pm on September 12, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Lest we forget that the Obama administration has made it their mission to forcibly change the face of American energy as we know it — most notably by removing the blemish that they’ve deemed the coal industry to be — House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings has an informative op-ed in Politico today that describes the White House’s commitment to making it practically impossible for coal to succeed, all of the lost jobs and costly neighborhood effects be damned.

The nonpartisan U.S. Energy Information Administration has all but confirmed the president’s aggressive war on coal with a report detailing a record number of coal-fired power plants to be closed this year — largely because of burdensome regulations and other compliance costs. Worse, 175 coal-fired power plants are scheduled to be shut down from 2012 to 2016, EIA estimated, requiring 27 gigawatts of electricity — enough to power 27 million homes — to be replaced by more expensive forms of energy.

The shuttering of record numbers of coal-fired power plants threatens thousands of the 555,270 direct and indirect coal-related jobs that help supply America with nearly half of its generated electricity and pay $36 billion in wages.

Highly convenient that the bulk of these new regulations won’t start kicking in until after 2012, but there you have it. Hastings goes on to argue that one of the most specific covert actions by the Obama administration has been their decision to rewrite a coal production regulation known as the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, which highlights the lengths to which they’re willing to go to flout the free market and accomplish their goals:

The Obama administration discarded a rule that underwent five years of environmental review and public comment; entered into a court agreement with environmental groups to rewrite the rule in an unachievable time frame; spent millions of taxpayer dollars and hired new contractors to do the rewrite; fired the contractors when it leaked that the revision would cost 7,000 jobs; attempted to manipulate data to conceal the true economic impact; and is now hiding its final rule from the public until after the election.

If something else comes along that might have the capacity to phase some coal out of our economy in a cheap, efficient, and more environmentally friendly manner that can grow our economy instead of tank it (cough cough, natural gas), then great, but the Obama administration’s ill-fated attempt to remake the world in their own green self-image and force Americans to purchase part of their utilities from renewable sources was always going to end badly — ’cause that’s just what central planning does.

A Romney presidency, meanwhile, would have the opportunity to roll back part of the oncoming onslaught of regulations, and NBC points out that the coal industry is at least cautiously optimistic that he will do what he can:

According to the Energy Department, there are nearly 1,400 coal-fired power plants with a total of 317 gigawatts of generating capacity. So shutting down 45 gigawatts of coal-fired generation would end about 14 percent of U.S. coal-fired electricity. …

Most industry leaders expect a more benign regulatory environment for coal if Romney wins on Nov. 6, said Kyle Danish, an attorney who specializes in energy policy at the Van Ness Feldman law firm in Washington. …

The Obama administration has attempted to impose tighter restrictions on mining in the Appalachians, including mountaintop removal. “Some of these rules were invalidated in federal district courts, and the Obama administration is appealing those decisions. Most in industry believe a Romney administration is likely to drop the appeals and go in a different direction, relying more on the states to oversee permitting and regulation of mining operations,” Danish said.

The NBC article concludes by positing that the “Romney energy platform has some potential negatives for coal,” i.e., that they would open up for federal lands for natural gas production and leave fracking regulations more up to the states, but I think that’s missing the point. I don’t have an affinity for coal in particular; my only loyalty is to a robust economy that’s the best it can be, because that is what’s going to provide high-paying jobs for the largest number of people, no matter what specific industry those jobs are in. Being kinder to the natural gas industry is only opening up the playing field and allowing for competition — and competition is what leads to innovation, and greater prosperity for all.


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What’s with all the obvious squirrel chasing to day by HotAir?

We had a terror attack on 9-11.

faraway on September 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Covert? POSGRP told us he would attack coal way back in the day, “your energy costs will necessarily skyrocket”.

Bishop on September 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM

This admin will continue to hinder the exploitation of our own natural resources in every way possible, and what better than regulations under the radar.

hawkeye54 on September 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Fight coal, not flea-bitten savages who attack American soil!

OhEssYouCowboys on September 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Coal: On the Kill List.

RedNewEnglander on September 12, 2012 at 4:46 PM

If we lose 14% of our electricy generation, how will we plug in our Volts?

Will we have to make hard choices between charging our iPhones or our cars?

Lily on September 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

If I didn’t know any better…

… I would swear that Obowma doesn’t care too much for this Country.

/

Seven Percent Solution on September 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Well you can’t have successful energy producers producing affordable energy and making a profit too. That wood make wind and solar energy look bad and distract from the narrative.

antipc on September 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Highly convenient that the bulk of these new regulations won’t start kicking in until after 2012, but there you have it.

It’s all part of the 5 year plan. A few eggs might get broken, but we’ll finally have our Great Leap Forward.

forest on September 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM

The Obama admin is trying to keep the “war on coal” covert, but it’s definitely still there

Obama is trying to keep his entire War on America covert, so far the Fifth Column Treasonous Media is helping, but American’s aren’t as stupid as Obama and company are hoping.

SWalker on September 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Somebody tell Ohio about this!!!!1!

iurockhead on September 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Yes it is definitely still there and we should be shouting it from the mountaintops!

stukinIL4now on September 12, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Øbama: Downsizing America by strangling its energy.

Filthy America-hating POS.

petefrt on September 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM

When coal miners (and railroad train crews) in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin start getting “pink-slips”, then the backlash will escalate, big-time.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM

I’m just trying to figure out who’s making money on all this?

Shades of John D. Rockefeller and his “business practices”.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM

If we lose 14% of our electricy generation, how will we plug in our Volts?

Will we have to make hard choices between charging our iPhones or our cars?

Lily on September 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

The Volt has always been a political expediency, not a viable product for purchase. Its function is not transportation, but as a way for the Democratic party to get funds and support from environmentalists.

In all fairness, there will never be enough Volts to plug in to matter.

MessesWithTexas on September 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

If we lose 14% of our electricy generation, how will we plug in our Volts?

Lily on September 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

That’s the idea. Make private vehicles dependent on electricity. Make electricity unaffordable, so use of private vehicles will become unaffordable, people will move back into the cities and use public transportation.

petefrt on September 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM

An aluminum producer in Ohio is shutting down and laying off its employees because of electricity costs. Thanks, Barry.

Philly on September 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM

2 Coal Power Plants SHUT DOWN in the Chicago Area because of President Obama’s Epa’s Air Quality Standards.

Varchild on September 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Romney: “I will not create jobs that kill people, and that plant kills people!” Pointing at a coal powered generation plant… So if you work in the coal industry, Romney sees you as a murderer. If you work in the abortion industry, he will donate to your cause.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Keep at it, Howard Johnson Boy, you might get someone to turn.

Either that or get laughed out of here.

Bishop on September 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Keep at it, Howard Johnson Boy, you might get someone to turn.

Either that or get laughed out of here.

Bishop on September 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Not by a person like you. You are about as intelligent as mercury filled light bulbs in residential homes that explode on occasion.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Is it possible to use drones to hunt and kill coal?

Archivarix on September 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Romney in 2003: “I Will Not Create Jobs That Kill People”

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Aren’t these gainsaying assclowns cute?

Obama’s plain promise to bankrupt the coal industry, spoken during the ’08 campaign
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpTIhyMa-Nw

rayra on September 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Aren’t these gainsaying assclowns cute?

Obama’s plain promise to bankrupt the coal industry, spoken during the ’08 campaign
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpTIhyMa-Nw

rayra on September 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Birds of a feather, birds of a feather…

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Romney and Ryan should be seen in coal country at least weekly. Tell the story of coal and it’s impact on the lives of all Americans! IT IS NOT AN INDUSTRY THAT KILLS PEOPLE!COAL IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE!!

Marco on September 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Just for you astonerii.

antipc on September 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Just for you astonerii.

antipc on September 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

I am not a bumper sticker kind of person… Thanks for the thought. You all should have done that to Mitt back in the primary. Or Mitt should do the same thing you all are demanding of Akin, quit. Since it is not going to happen, I’ll just keep trying to drive his numbers down. I am healthy enough, I will be here the whole cycle.

On the other hand, if you could get him to sign a pledge in blood stating that he will not sign into law a debt ceiling increase until congress has passed and turned over to the states a balanced budget amendment with a cap on federal spending, I will enthusiastically support the Romney dude.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 7:07 PM

I will enthusiastically support the Romney dude.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 7:07 PM

yeah!…huh huh!

KOOLAID2 on September 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

yeah!…huh huh!

KOOLAID2 on September 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

His and Ryan’s perpetual deficit spending is what keeps them off my to vote for list. Make him balance the budget, get it in a way he cannot lie and get reelected, and I will ENTHUSIASTICALLY vote for him. You can call it my single issue voter issue.

I think a balanced budget will change the course of this nation. Not as good as simply getting rid of the welfare state… But it will change the direction and eventually force the government to cut millions of Americans off the dole. That will make more people producers…

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Have these clowns even contemplated how they will replace 45 GW of power production? It must mean that they never expect any kind of economic recovery, very telling.

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Natural gas to pay back T. Boone Pickens.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Natural Gas is very volatile price wise and is a not a good base load choice. It cheap right now but only because we are still in a very, very deep recession. Oh, and requires big pipe line everywhere, the left will not let that happen. I know that was not your point but is true.

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 8:07 PM

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 8:07 PM

I was being snarky cause i hate that t guy. I am really glad he lost a fortune on his wind farms.

But natural gas has been the single largest growth in energy for the last decade it seems. Particularly with the fracking.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

In 1995 Bob Dole tried to outlaw these sweetheart settlement agreements that used a judicial decree to deprive an innocent 3rd party of its rights when the administration did not have the authority to do so on its own. This is exactly how the Clinton EPA and the NRDC deprived industry of the removal credits that the Clean Water Act envisioned them to get when they did in-plant clean-ups. Shameful Shameful Shameful; but of course, this administration has no shame.

Sadly, a filibuster thwarted a 58 vote majority in favor of Dole’s bill prohibiting this type of suit. We should renew this issue in the future as it stops a means of destroying entities that are not even party to the lawsuit.

KW64 on September 12, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I was being snarky cause i hate that t guy. I am really glad he lost a fortune on his wind farms.

But natural gas has been the single largest growth in energy for the last decade it seems. Particularly with the fracking.

astonerii on September 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I hate T. Boone as well, and Natural gas has been a good investment but when it cost 1 to 2 billion to build a base load plant, the cost volatility of gas makes it a dumb choice for base load replacement. Because of the capital investment involved these are decisions that you have to live with for 20 to 30 years.

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Coal is Americas best, cheapest source of electrical energy.

If the Obama eco-scammers can shut down coal they can shutdown the economy of America. All this Obama “talk” about making the economy better is just election year hype. The real Obama agenda continues behind the scenes and below the MSM radar….The leftist socialists of Obama want to severely limit your freedoms…cheap energy is needed to have freedom to move around, travel, Leftist socials want to deny you that.

Without cheap energy the economy will not recover, forcing YOU to be dependent on socialist government.

BigSven on September 13, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Natural Gas is very volatile price wise and is a not a good base load choice. It cheap right now but only because we are still in a very, very deep recession. Oh, and requires big pipe line everywhere, the left will not let that happen. I know that was not your point but is true.

whbates on September 12, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Natural gas is cheap now mostly because of large supplies recently discovered which can be brought to market by fracking, meaning that U.S. natural-gas production actually exceeds consumption.

By any objective measure, burning natural gas produces less REAL pollution (sulfur dioxide, mercury, particulates) than burning coal per unit energy produced. A balanced and reasonable approach to environmental regulations would probably lead to natural gas displacing coal as the majority source for power generation within the next few decades, if natural gas is both cleaner and cheaper. There would also be market pressure to “gasify” coal by reacting it with steam to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which can then be used to drive clean-burning turbines.

However, known U.S. coal reserves could meet current demand for 400 years, while the total natural gas reserves in the newly discovered supplies are unknown. If these reserves run out in less than 400 years, and natural gas increases in price, the coal-gasification technology would then enable the use of coal for future centuries.

The Obama Administration’s EPA regulations are not only a war on coal, but a war on ALL fossil fuels, INCLUDING natural gas! The 2010 rule on carbon dioxide emissions makes it prohibitive to permit a gas-fired power plant generating more than about 80 megawatts (MW), while most commercial plants use turbines producing 200 to 300 MW each, often with several of them in parallel.

The Obama administration is not only shutting down coal-fired plants, but is preventing the power they produce from being replaced, which will lead to massive blackouts in the next few years.

Steve Z on September 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM