Union bosses dumped hundreds of millions of dollars of their members’ dues into getting Barack Obama elected. They chastised the racists in their ranks, downplayed his socialist rhetoric, and they thought he would be their union savior. Worse, union bosses put both their members’ money and their livelihoods in his hands. Apparently, union bosses could have their cake and eat it too (or so they thought).
In their rush to promote those so-called “green jobs” union bosses convinced themselves (and their members) that there would be no displacement, no job losses, no casualties or no pain in Obama’s plan of hope and change. They were wrong.
This would be the “hope” and “change” part of moving the American economy to a “green economy“:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the first-ever national standards for mercury, arsenic and other emissions from power plants. The new power plant mercury and air toxics standards would require many power plants to install emissions control technologies to cut mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases emissions.
The updated standards will attempt to provide a level playing field for power plants across the country. The proposed rule provides up to four years for facilities to meet the standards and, once fully implemented, will prevent 91 percent of mercury in coal from being released into the air. EPA expects the new rule will support 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) said it believes a three-year timeframe for reducing emissions of carbon, mercury and other pollutants through the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standard is not realistic. The union is backing a bill calling for Congress to delay new rules on emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Union official said they have met with the EPA to discuss concerns and recognize the agency has limited discretion and flexibility in addressing compliance timelines because it is bound by federal court mandates.
The union said 50,000 jobs are at stake if power plants cannot get an extra five or six years to either clean up or shut down their oldest coal-fired power plants. Under the Clean Air Act, plants get three years with a possible one-year extension after that to install emissions control equipment.
The Clean Air Act’s deadline for meeting the new regulations is just 36 months after the rules are finalized in November. EPA can grant a one-year extension on a case-by-case basis. While some generating units will be retrofitted with additional pollution controls to meet the standards, hundreds of smaller and older units will simply be closed.
Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost in the utility, coal and transportation sectors. Hundreds of communities will suffer as their tax bases shrink with the closure of nearby utility plants. Industrial states that were hit hard by the recession and still suffering from high unemployment will take another, needless hit.
To make matters worse, the new source limits EPA is proposing are so stringent that no new state-of-the-art power plant equipped with highly efficient scrubbers and other pollution controls could meet each of the multiple standards. Some of the new source standards are below the detection limits of current monitoring and testing equipment.
Unfortunately, union bosses either ignored Barack Obama (or were just plain ignorant) when he warned America of his plans back in 2008:
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Obama’s plans would cost jobs—many of those jobs occupied by union members. Beyond the hype of ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ it’s become all too clear that union bosses sold their members a bill of goods.
It’s a good thing union bosses don’t build rockets.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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