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Commentary: Obama's anti-coal agenda obvious

by The Minot (N.D.) Daily News on June 22, 2014 1:40 AM

It has become perfectly clear that President Barack Obama’s goal is to shut down coal-fired power plants — whether doing so is essential in battling climate change or not. If he is successful, tens of millions of American families will pay much higher electric bills. And hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs, all to allow Obama to get his way.

Obama’s schedule for wrecking the coal industry and driving up electricity prices has been obvious. First, his Environmental Protection Agency adopted rules effectively banning construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States. He did that against the will of the people, as expressed by a majority of members of the Senate, who refused to vote in favor of his “cap and trade” scheme.

Utilities quickly revealed plans to close hundreds of older coal-fired power stations. Most will be replaced with natural gas facilities. Then, late last month, Obama decided to administer the coup de grace. The EPA revealed new rules that will make it virtually impossible to operate existing coal-fired power plants.

Even Obama’s administration admits that will drive electric bills up by 20-30 percent for many Americans. More objective analysts say bills may go up by double that or more. Business analysts say the president’s agenda will cost the nation at least 500,000 jobs.

If technology existed to retrofit coal-burning power plants to comply with EPA limits, things would be different. But it does not. And that is part of Obama’s plan. While he has been throwing away billions of dollars on so-called “alternative” energy such as solar power, Obama has been slashing federal funding for coal research. It is all part of a plan, one certainly crafted more carefully than many White House initiatives, such as foreign policy.

Unless Democrat members of the Senate begin representing their constituents, Obama will win in his vendetta against coal — while tens of millions of Americans lose.

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