Obama’s War On Coal Is Going To Kill Jobs And Sent Electricty Rates ‘Skyrocketing’

By Michael Snyder

The General James M. Gavin coal plant on the Ohio River

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he stated that under his plan “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”.  Well, now it looks like he is finally getting around to keeping his promise.  New EPA rules that are designed to cripple the coal industry could send electricity rates soaring by up to 40 percent in many rural areas.  And even though we have enough coal in the ground to provide hundreds of years of energy at current levels of consumption, Obama’s plan is going to force large numbers of coal plants to completely shut down because they are simply going to become too expensive to operate.  If Americans living in rural communities didn’t care for Obama before, they really are not going to like him much when these new EPA regulations start kicking in.

Most people don’t remember this, but Barack Obama was very clear about what he intended to do to the coal industry even before he was elected the first time.  According to fact-checking site Politifact, Obama did tell the San Francisco Chronicle that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” if he had his way…

It didn’t take us long to find Barack Obama’s original quote, which came from a videotaped interview he did with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board very early in the presidential campaign, January 2008.

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama told the Chronicle . “Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

Fortunately, political expediency and the Republicans in Congress have blocked a lot of what Obama intended to do up until now.

But at this point Obama is a lame duck president that does not have another election to worry about.  So now he can start pushing a lot of things that he may have been hesitant to do so before for political reasons.

Unfortunately, this little pet project of Obama’s is going to end up costing millions of U.S. consumers a lot of money.  In fact, it is being projected that the new EPA rules could raise electricity rates in some rural areas by up to 40 percent

At least six electric cooperative utilities across the U.S. mid-and-southwest could raise electricity rates up to 40 percent if the Environmental Protection Agency imposes new permitting regulations on coal-fired power plants.

The regulations would cost Deseret Power Electric Cooperative (DPEC) $200 million to install advanced equipment to qualify for a Clean Air Act Title V permit.

DPEC is made up of six rural electrical cooperatives that serve more than 45,000 customers in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado. Rural cooperatives have been heavily opposed to excessive EPA regulations targeting coal plants, which they say raise rates for their customers.


And it turns out that “Obamacare for the air” is going to be far more harsh than many of Obama’s toughest critics even anticipated…

Administrator McCarthy’s draconian proposals are turning out to be even worse than many critics expected. In a May 30commentary, the Cato Institute’s Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, who is past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and a research professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for 30 years, speculated that the new regulations would most likely require a 20-percent reduction in allowable carbon dioxide emissions. “The only way this will be possible,” he said, “will be by upgrading almost all combustion units, and the ultimate cost of the upgrades will make coal noncompetitive with much-less-expensive natural gas–fired facilities.”

But, lo and behold, when McCarthy released the new regulatory proposal it was far worse, mandating 30-percent reductionin CO2 emissions.

“Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks to our health, our economy and our way of life,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, in announcing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. “This plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids.”

But this is not just about cleaner air.

The truth is that this is what Obama always intended – a war on coal.

For example, back in 2008 candidate Obama made the following statement regarding coal…

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

And a key environmental adviser to Obama, Professor Daniel Schrag, said the following during an interview with the New York Times

“Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having awar on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

This is extremely unfortunate, because we have enough coal to help meet our energy needs for a very, very long time.  According to an article by William F. Jasper, the federal government admits that we have enough coal to last us approximately 250 more years…

According to the federal Energy Information Agency (EIA), 45 percent of the country’s annual four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity are generated from coal. And, says the EIA, we have a Demonstrated Reserve Base of 496 billion short tons of coal, of which 272 billion tons are considered recoverable with current technology. With U.S. usage at 1.1 billion tons per year, we have about 250 years’ supply at the present rate of consumption.

But instead, these new EPA regulations are going to force coal plants to shut down all over the nation, and the rest will be forced to raise rates substantially.

According to a Reuters article from last year, it was being projected that more than 200 coal plants would be shut down in the United States over the next decade.

And now that these new EPA regulations are much harsher than anticipated, it is inevitable that the number of coal plants that will end up closing will be much higher than that.

At a time when the U.S. economy is already struggling, this is something that we do not need.

In the end, thousands of good jobs will be lost and U.S. consumers will be shelling out millions of dollars more for electricity than they otherwise should have thanks to Obama’s war on coal.

Hopefully someone out there will fight these regulations while there is still time to do so.



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  • fred54

    Rather than playing their game people need to start ignoring the Federal government. Refuse to cooperate.
    Laws and regulations are just words on a piece of paper written by the oligarchs to oppress the rest of us.
    The folks in Bunkerville refused to allow the Feds to steal their land and property. The power plants need
    to just ignore the permitting process. When the FEDs show up to shut them down have a militia waiting. The
    Federal government is a toothless tiger that threatens to get it’s way. Threats as Putin says are a sign
    of weakness.Juat look at how we execute on foreign policy, bellicose threats that are never followed
    through on.

  • woody188

    Wonder what we’ll do when the shale gas runs out in 25-30 years?

  • Ryan

    Obama’s war on AMERICA.

  • Patsy Buvoltz

    Money does NOT trump your environment. It is sick that all anyone is concerned with is money….. I’m watching our natural environment die a slow and painful death. I’ve spent my entire life learning and preparing for the possibility of living without electricity. I’ve done it before. The whole system is set up to suck you dry and poison your home. If you have not figured out an alternative to playing this sick game, you better start.

  • James Woroble Jr

    I’m no fan of the Cannibal-In-Chief, neo-communist, (dark) meat puppet Obooboo. I’m also of the firm belief that ‘global warming’ and its recently re-coined brand name ‘climate change’ (due to the absurdly cold climate events contradicting the agenda) is nothing more than a massive global (carbon) tax and investment market scheme. Furthermore, this contrived agenda is designed to accomplish what communism failed to do in the previous century — control the global economy of nations by selectively dictating emission levels and thereby controlling production and thus their prosperity. The more a nation adapts itself with social, political and military policies of the NWO, the more liberal and permissive the carbon controls will be. Want prosperity? DO AS WE DICTATE! Green is the new ‘red’!

    But on this coal issue I wish the witch doctor of the White House and his tribal associates, every success. The burning of coal and its toxic emissions of mercury and sulfuric acid into the environment is only second to the radiation being spewed out of Fukushima regarding the destruction of the environment.. Also lets not forget the some EIGHTY FREIGHT CARS of toxic coal ash waste generated EVERY DAY dumped from a typical single coal fired plant!!!

    Only a satanic, neo-communist scumbag would implement a policy in total disregard of the devastating unemployment and and burdensome living costs of the citizens of a nation over a minor issue. But this is not minor, and the great costs will arrive regardless, albeit in a different form, in terms of health, including that of future generations, and the environment, including the greatly decreased ability regarding the production of food.

    Though not ideal, natural gas is the best possible substitute and solution. But ‘fracking’ for it is the most destructive and insane method, generating as many health and environmental as coal burning. If the only solution is to import LGN, at an increased cost, then this is what must be done. Gasoline wouldn’t be nearly $4.00 a gallon if we produced it in America either.