Obama Issues More Regulations to Destroy Coal Industry Before Leaving Office

Barack Obama has been waging a war against the coal industry ever since taking office eight years ago. He has pushed strict regulations that have already forced smaller coal mining companies to close their doors and lay thousands of Americans out work.

During Obama’s 2008 campaign, he made the following statement:

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. That will cost money. They will pass that [cost] on to consumers.”

When Obama took office, the average price of electricity in the US was 12.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. By June 2014, the average price of electricity had increased to 14.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. The Washington Times commented about the increase:

“That 1.9 cent jump may not sound like much, but it costs an average customer an extra $205 per year.”

To put it in another perspective, that’s a 15.3% increase in electric rates. How many Americans saw their incomes increase by 15% during that same period of time?

In 2014, it was reported that Obama’s EPA to enforce new regulations that called for the 30% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants by 2030. At the time, coal was the number one fuel used for the generation of electricity. As reported in December 2014:

In 2013, the United States generated about 4,058 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), with 39% attributed from coal.

In 2013, energy sources and percent share of total electricity generation were:

  • Coal 39%
  • Natural Gas 27%
  • Nuclear 19%
  • Hydropower 7%
  • Other Renewable 6% [total]
  • Biomass 1.48%
  • Geothermal 0.41%
  • Solar 0.23%
  • Wind 4.13%
  • Petroleum 1%
  • Other Gases < 1%

So almost 40% or 1,632 billion kilowatt-hours of America’s electricity is currently generated by coal-fired power plants, and not a single plant, old or new, will be able to meet the new guidelines. Are you feeling all warm and Christmassy?”

The results of Obama’s war on coal has been making a direct impact on jobs of thousands of Americans. The Daily Caller reported in February 2015:

A report by the American Action Forum found that under the Obama administration coal mines shed 3,702 jobs from 2008 to 2013 and power plants shed 39,684 jobs. Coal mine jobs have slid even further since then, from 76,100 in January 2014 to 71,300 last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

AAF argues that over regulation by the EPA and other agencies has burdened the coal industry with billions of dollars in regulatory costs in new clean air and water regulations. Economy-wide AAF argues that for every $1 billion in regulatory costs, industries shed an average of 8,100 jobs.

“Nowhere is this phenomenon more stark than in fossil-fueled power plants and coal mining. Regulators have added more than $10 billion in burdens on this industry since 2011, with the promise of at least $10 billion more in the immediate future,” said Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum.

Even though Obama is supposedly on one of his many taxpayer paid vacations in Hawaii, he is still working to end his regime with more regulations designed to ruin the coal industry. As reported by The Washington Times:

“At the eleventh hour, the Obama administration on Monday rolled out regulations to crack down on coal mining across the country, a parting shot against the beleaguered industry as the president leaves office.”

“The regulations, designed to protect America’s streams and waterways from pollution produced during mining operations, will add significant costs to coal mining companies, many of which are struggling to operate.”

“The Interior Department estimates that it will cost the coal industry about $81 million each year to comply with the rule. The agency stressed that figure is just 0.1 percent of the coal industry’s ‘aggregate annual revenues.’”

“…But critics, including leaders in the energy sector and Republicans on Capitol Hill, have said the proposal will be much more expensive and surely will lead to even more layoffs in the industry, which has been losing jobs each year during the Obama administration.”

Obama has claimed to be concerned for the average hardworking American, but many of his policies, such as his war on coal and fossil fuels, are a direct assault against the average hardworking American. It will put thousands of workers in the coal and energy production business out of work and will result in even higher electricity rates for every American household who has electrical power.

Hopefully, Trump will quickly reverse these unrealistic regulations and keep workers from losing their jobs and Americans from having to live in the dark because of high electrical rates.

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Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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