FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Coal? What Coal?
Take a look at this info graphic and see if you can spot what is missing.
If you said “coal” then congratulations. You read the headline above. Yes, apparently the Obama administration’s “All of the Above” approach to energy is in need of an asterisk: *except coal.
But green energy is the future right? And the future is now! I mean how much does coal even constitute as a portion of energy consumption in America?
It’s no surprise that good old fashioned coal is omitted from Obama’s “everything” list. He announced as a candidate that he intended to bankrupt the coal industry and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has been more than happy to oblige.
Between the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), Utility MACT rule, and cap-and-tax New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), an all out war on coal has been raging between the lifeblood of our economy and this administration. The EPA serving is serving as the administration’s very own Secret Police (that should get me some hate mail) bent on crucifying any opposition. And no amount of faulty research or projected job losses will get in their way.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval aimed at preventing implementation of the Utility MACT rule, which is scheduled for a June 12th vote.
“The failure of the United States Senate to rein in the Obama-EPA is having a devastating impact on the pocketbooks of American families and threatens the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Americans,” Senator Inhofe warned. “Over the past year, more than a dozen Senate Democrats have claimed that they want to stop EPA’s destructive agenda, yet when the time comes, they hide behind alternative bills they know will never pass…Today the United States Senate can look forward to having one more opportunity to stand up to President Obama’s war on affordable energy: I am introducing a legislative measure that will put a halt to the Obama-EPA’s Utility MACT rule – one of the most expensive environmental rules in American history, second only to his proposed cap-and-trade rules that failed to pass legislatively.”
Interestingly, an administration that is constantly screaming about a lack of bi-partisanship in Washington, finds that once again, bi-partisanship exists only in opposition to his agenda.
The CRA swing votes include the usual suspects – vulnerable Democrats who perpetually try to ride the line between appeasing the environmentalist left and distancing themselves from Obama’s unpopular policies as they face reelection. Interestingly, each comes from a state highly dependent on coal, including five from the top ten states in coal usage.
1. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
· Coal provides more than 85% of Ohio’s electricity
· Ohio ranks 3rd in US coal usage
· Coal accounts for more than 19,000 high-paying Ohio jobs and a combined payroll of more than $800 million dollars.
2. Jon Tester (D-MT)
· Coal provides more than 62% of Montana’s electricity
· Montana ranks 5th in US coal production
· Minerals and non-metal mining accounts for more than 13,000 high-paying Montana jobs
3. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
· Coal provides more than 80% of Missouri’s electricity
· Missouri ranks 6th in US coal use
· Coal accounts for more than 4,600 high-paying Missouri jobs and a combined payroll of more than $160 million dollars
4. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
· Coal provides more than 60% of Michigan’s electricity
· Michigan ranks 10th in US coal usage
5. Jim Webb (D-VA)
· Coal provides more than 43% of Virginia’s electricity
· Virginia ranks 13th in US coal production
· Coal accounts for more than 31,600 high-paying Virginia jobs and a combined payroll of more than $1.4 billion dollars.
6. Bob Casey (D-PA)
· Coal provides more than 52% of Pennsylvania’s electricity
· Pennsylvania ranks 5th in US coal usage
· Coal accounts for more than 49,100 high-paying Pennsylvania jobs and a combined payroll of more than $2.2 billion dollars
7. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
· Coal provides more than 62% of Tennessee’s electricity
· Tennessee ranks 20th in US coal production
· Coal accounts for more than 6,100 high-paying Tennessee jobs and a combined payroll of more than $220 million dollars.
With a Senate map that could go either way based on 2-3 seats, Democrats are likely to face increasing pressure to distance themselves from the Obama EPA’s job-killing, price-raising energy policy, particularly in these coal-heavy states. West Virginia Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has already stated that Obama may not get his vote.
“[The president] has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia’s economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business…I do not believe that either candidate has a real understanding of what is important to West Virginia. As governor, I go to work every day to stand up for West Virginians and create jobs. As governor, I know that I must work hard every day to earn the trust and the votes of my constituents. Neither President Obama nor Governor Romney has earned my vote at this point.”
Sen. Joe Manchin has made similar comments.
“Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has done more than any other Democrat up for reelection this year to distance himself from President Obama, said he does not know if he will vote for Obama or presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in November. ‘I’ll look at the options,’ Manchin said this week. The last three years “have made it pretty rough” for his state, he said.”
Luckily, they have other options.
Update: Yes, I realize the list includes “clean coal” but that’s little consolation to the traditional coal industry and it’s existing production plants.