Just in time for Christmas, Washington has a gift for all of you feeling the joy and optimism of the season… a giant, economy killing, power grab by the EPA. Rejoice! Rejoice! The polar bears will continue to thrive while Americans suffer record unemployment and poverty!
In a perfectly timed press release, the EPA announced their intention to begin limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants to combat so-called climate change late last night. While most people aren’t going to pay much attention to this story, it’s going to have significant affects for all of us. Almost half of the electricity generated in this country comes from coal-fired power plants, so even if your personal power bill doesn’t see an immediate and significant increase, you can certainly expect the price of many of your “Made in the USA” products to increase substantially. Until the exact provisions are released to the public, however, we can only speculate how much this massive power grab is going to cost each of us, but know that it is going to cost you.
Obviously, if these regulations are adopted, they certainly aren’t something that will aid our economic recovery, to say the least. It is going to be sadly interesting, however, to see how detrimental these new regulations will be to the economic recovery in specific regions of the country. For example, why would a company that is building a new factory ever consider an area where the cost of electricity has been artificially and unnecessarily inflated by the geniuses in Washington?
Whenever I drive past the local coal miners union’s meeting house, I’m amazed at the plethora of Obama signs littering their front yard. I realize that unions traditionally vote Democrat, but Obama’s energy policies will put a lot of these union workers out of a job.
Then again, McCain’s energy policy is not any better.
Despite Obama’s nearly 5-point advantage in Pennsylvania, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1988, Mitt Romney’s campaign has purchased ad time in the state, hoping to pick its 20 electoral votes off on Tuesday:
Mitt Romney will soon run campaign advertisements on Pennsylvania television, a Republican source told CNN on Tuesday. The Romney campaign later released an energy-themed ad which specifically mentions Pennsylvania. Romney’s campaign plans to go up next week in Philadelphia on Monday and Tuesday - Election Day, the source said, adding that the buy could be expanded.
The Philadelphia suburbs are key counties and could determine who wins the state. They are home to middle-income and affluent voters who are conservative on fiscal issues but liberal on social issues, including abortion and gun control.
The ad, which can be viewed below, opens with footage from 2008 of then-candidate Obama explaining his views on coal, which is a big industry in Pennsylvania. Obama said, “If someboday wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” A narrator explains that Obama “kept that promise, and Pennsylvania coal paid the price,” as graphic flashes on the screen noting that 22 coal plants in the state will either close or be forced to convert.
The ad then turns to debate footage featuring Romney and Obama, who is looking down, as the Republican nominee explains that “people in the coal industry feel like its getting crushed by your policies”:
Last week, we told you about an EPA administrator who compared his agency’s treatment of the oil industry to how Romans treated villages they conquered. The comment was met with outrage in conservative circles, understandably so, and gave a peak into how the oil industry is truly viewed in the Obama Administration.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the EPA administrator, Al Armendariz, who made the comment has now resigned and apologizes for what he said:
The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South Central region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws.
In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
“I have come to the conclusion that my continued service will distract you and the agency from its important work,” Armendariz wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the AP.
Republicans in Congress had called for Armendariz’ firing after Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe highlighted the May 2010 speech last week as proof of what he refers to as EPA’s assault on energy, particularly the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
President Barack Obama appointed Armendariz in November 2009 at the urging of Texas-based environmental groups.
While Barack Obama says that his administration is concerned about rising energy costs and has an “all of the above” energy plan, the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed new carbon emissions regulations new coal plants:
The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday, according to several people briefed on the proposal. The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.
Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.