November 9, 2012
Remember all those promises Obama made during his initial campaign about bankrupting the coal industry?
In the last four years, we have witnessed the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) crack down hard on coal, putting through billions in costly mandated compliance including the first-ever greenhouse gas regulations which are stringent enough to ensure the coal industry dies five times over. With standards for allowable carbon dioxide emissions now cut in half, no one would even dream of building a new plant, and closures are continuing across the nation. In addition to exorbitant energy costs being passed down to each and every American, the ripples of destruction from these new rules will also include lost jobs and lost revenue in states where coal is a major economic component.
Gearing up for re-election, the Obama campaign put up this interactive energy wheel infographic this past spring. Users can click on different types of energy to see how the president’s administration will fit that resource into his so-called “All-of-the-Above” energy independence plan for America. Below is an original screen shot:
The digital tinker toy is just so fancy schmancy, users might not have even noticed that, originally, something was missing. The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll pointed out the first of two major problems with this picture:
Coal makes up almost half of all electricity production in the United States. When rich liberals plug in their Chevy Volts, odds are good that the power recharging their batteries is coming from coal. Yet Obama completely leaves this fuel source out of his all of the above energy policy. Without coal, our electricity prices would skyrocket.
Coal currently produces somewhere between 46 and 50 percent of our nation’s energy (depending on which source you consult and when).
Something else was missing from Obama’s energy infographic. There are over 2,000 hydropower plants in the United States, making it our largest renewable energy resource. According to the National Hydropower Association, hydropower makes up seven percent of the total power in the nation, and it has been a clean, reliable source of U.S. energy for the last 100 years. The top ten hydropower-producing states are Washington, Oregon, New York, California, Alabama, Idaho, Tennessee, Montana, Arizona, and North Carolina. The Hoover Dam alone generates enough power to serve 1.3 million people a year.
Conspicuously, hydropower is also missing from Obama’s energy infographic. When Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) questioned a member of Obama’s staff on why hydropower was missing, she could not seem to get a straight answer and had to assume the president’s people would “keep working to get hydropower listed”:
Now that Obama has been re-elected for another term, the 1.3 million people in Nevada and Arizona who get their power from the Hoover Dam might want to question why, seven months later, it still isn’t listed on the president’s “All of the Above” energy plan infographic.
A type of coal has finally been added, but it’s “clean coal.” Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the EPA is also in the process of finalizing new post-election anti-coal regulations set to go through by the end of this month. The new move will be the final nail in the coffin of plans for any new coal-fired power plants in America. The cost? According to some estimates, the U.S. economy will take a $700-billion-dollar hit when these latest greenhouse gas emissions standards are finalized.
While clean forms of energy are a good thing, our president’s measures seem more about austerity than saving the environment.
Like everything else, Obama has used infomercial rhetoric to convince the American people that they should just accept his plan’s added energy costs on the front end because it will save us all money some sunny day in the future (never mind the fact that many Americans are broke now and many unemployed Americans have tried for so long to find a job they have just given up and fallen out of the system at this point). This “Obamalogic” holds true with the advice that we should all run out and buy the new energy efficient cars his campaign website claims will save us all $8,200 a year at the gas pump by 2025; the caveat is we have to buy a $30,000-plus car now, when most people are having a hard time even buying the gas for the cars they already own.
In pondering Obama’s EPA further, why would an agency with the primary purpose of finding new ways to regulate things ever be motivated to stop? Think about it. If the EPA actually did it’s job honestly and properly, it would self-destruct a little because it would have regulated everything into a state of improvement and eventual stability. At some point, less and less new regulations would be needed; thus, the EPA’s current size and budget would be rendered a tad unnecessary.
If the EPA really did its job right by its very nature, it would downsize itself. Now that we have President Obama for another four years, however, business for the EPA will surely be booming.