So Happy Together: Will McAuliffe Join Obama’s “War On Coal?”


Today, A Top Obama Climate Adviser Said “A War On Coal Is Exactly What Is Needed”

Harvard University’s Daniel P. Schrag, One Of Obama’s Top Advisers On Climate Change, Said “A War On Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed.” “Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist who is the head of Harvard University’s Center for the Environment and a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change, said he hoped the presidential speech would mark a turning point in the national debate on climate change.  ‘Everybody is waiting for action,’ he said. ‘The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.’” (John M Broder, “Obama To Outline Ambitious Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gases,” The New York Times, 6/25/13)

  • Schrag: “The One Thing The President Really Needs To Do Now Is To Being The Process Of Shutting Down The Conventional Coal Plants.” (John M Broder, “Obama To Outline Ambitious Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gases,” The New York Times, 6/25/13)

Obama Plans To Ram Through EPA Regulations That Would “Effectively Prohibit New Coal-Fired Power Plants”

Obama Is Directing The EPA To Finish Proposed Emissions Regulations For New Power Plants. “The president will also direct the agency to complete standards for new fossil fuel power plants by the end of September. The rules, first proposed in April 2012, were supposed to be completed by April but are being rewritten to address potential legal and technical problems. (John M Broder, “Obama to Outline Ambitious Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases,” The New York Times, 6/25/13)

  • And Obama Is Also Pushing For New Regulations On Existing Power Plants That “Would Be Vastly More Costly And Contentious” Than His Previous Regulations. “The administration has already begun steps to restrict climate-altering emissions from any newly built power plants, but imposing carbon standards on the existing utility fleet would be vastly more costly and contentious.” (John M. Broder, “Obama Readying Emissions Limits On Power Plants,” The New York Times, 6/19/13)

“Last Year The Environmental Protection Agency Proposed Regulating Greenhouse-Gas Emissions From New Power Plants.” “For months, environmentalists have been pressing the White House to regulate utilities powered by coal and natural gas, which account for a third of the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions and 40 percent of its carbon output. Last year the Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from new power plants, but it has delayed finalizing that rule. According to individuals familiar with the White House plan, who asked not to be identified since the president has yet to deliver his speech, Obama will couch the effort not only in terms of the nation’s domestic priorities, but as a way to meet the administration’s international pledge to reduce the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels. According to an independent analysis by the World Resources Institute, the United States will need to regulate existing power plants and take other steps as well to meet that goal.” (Juliet Eilperin, “Obama To Announce Tuesday He Will Regulate Existing Power Plants As Part Of Climate Strategy,” The Washington Post, 6/22/13)

  • The 2012 EPA Regulation Meant That Coal-Fired Plants “As They Exist Now Will Not Be Built In The Future.” “But beyond that, the rule means that coal-fired power plants as they exist now will not be built in the future. The standard will generally require that new power plants emit CO2 at a rate no greater than that of a natural-gas-fired power plant. Such plants emit about 60 percent less greenhouse gases than coal plants.” (Erica Martinson, “EPA Hits Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Power Plants,” Politico, 3/26/12)

Obama’s Greenhouse Rule Would “Effectively Prohibit New Coal-Fired Power Plants.” “President Barack Obama’s proposed emission rules for power plants effectively prohibit new coal- fired power plants, buttressing the nation’s shift away from a power source that fueled the Industrial Revolution to cheap natural gas. Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. power plants yesterday, setting a standard natural-gas facilities can meet. A new coal plant, however, would need carbon-capture technology, which industry lobbyists say isn’t available at competitive rates.” (Mark Drajem, “Obama Power-Plant Rule Signals Demise Of ‘Old King Coal,’” Bloomberg, 3/28/12)

  • Obama’s 2012 Greenhouse Gas Proposal “Probably Will Mean That No New Coal-Fired U.S. Plants Will Be Built After This Year.” “The Obama administration’s proposal last week to put the first limits on greenhouse gases from new power plants probably will mean that no new coal-fired U.S. plants will be built after this year, but that won’t slash coal use anytime soon.” (Renee Schoof, “EPA Climate Proposal could Limit Coal’s Future, At Least In US,” McClatchy, 4/1/12)

Obama, Biden And McAuliffe Are In Agreement: No More Coal Plants


In 2009, Terry McAuliffe Attacked Coal, Saying “We Have Got To Move Past Coal. As Governor, I Never Want Another Coal Plant Built.” (Terry McAuliffe, Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Debate,Blacksburg, VA, 4/29/09)


Then-Presidential Candidate Obama, On His Energy Plans In 2008: “If Somebody Wants To Build A Coal Plant, They Can — It’s Just That It Will Bankrupt Them…” OBAMA: “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.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Interview With The San Francisco Chronicle’s Editorial Board, 1/17/08)

  • In 2007, Then-Presidential Candidate Said “I Don’t Think There’s Much Of A Role For Clean Coal In Energy Independence,” And “Clean-Coal Is Not The Route To Go In The United States.” BIDEN: “I don’t think there’s much of a role for clean coal in energy independence, but I do think there’s a significant role for clean coal in the bigger picture of climate change. Clean-coal technology is not the route to go in the United States, because we have other, cleaner alternatives.” (Amanda Little, “An Interview With Joe Biden About Energy And The Environment,”, 8/30/07)


Biden, In 2008: “No Coal Plants Here In America.” BIDEN: “We’re not supporting clean coal. Guess what, China is building two every week – two dirty coal plants. And it’s polluting the United States. … No coal plants here in America. Build them – if they’re going to build them over there, make them clean because they’re killing you.” (Joe Biden, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Maumee, OH, 9/16/08)

  • In 2007, Biden Ranked Coal Ahead Of High-Fructose Corn Syrup And A Terrorist Attack As More Likely To Contribute To The Death Of An Average American. HBO’s BILL MAHER: “Senator Biden, forgetting about the upcoming Iowa caucus for just a moment, which would you honestly say is more likely to contribute to the death of your average American: a terrorist strike or high-fructose corn syrup and air that has too much coal in it?” BIDEN: “Air that has too much coal in it, corn syrup next, then a terrorist attack. But that is not in any way to diminish the fact that a terrorist attack is real. It is not an existential threat to bringing down the country, but it does have the capacity, still, to kill thousands of people. But hundreds of thousands of people die and their lives are shortened because of coal plants, coal-fired plants and because of corn syrup.” (Sen. Joe Biden, Slate, Yahoo, The Huffington Post Presidential Forum, 9/13/07)


The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 19,260 Jobs In Virginia In 2011. (“U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions,” Ernst & Young, 5/13, Table 4)

Coal Jobs Contributed $1.4 Billion In Wages To Virginia Workers In 2011. (“U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions,” Ernst & Young, 5/13, Table 5)

  • Annual Average Wage In The Coal Industry In Southwest Virginia Is More Than Twice The Average For All Industries.  “[T]he coal industry paid an annual average wage of $84,978 in the region compared to the $34,757 for all industries in 2010 (the latest full year of data). Consequently, the coal industry directly accounted for 12.8% of total wages and salaries in Southwest Virginia.” (“The Economic Impact Of The Coal Industry In Virginia,” Chmura Economics & Analytics, 1/18/12)

Coal Contributed $2.5 Billion To Virginia’s Economy In 2011. (“U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions,” Ernst & Young, 5/13, Table 6)

  • The Coal Industry Produced 18.7% Of The Total Economic Output In Southwest Virginia In 2010. “Based on direct, indirect, and induced impacts, the coal industry produced 18.7% of the total economic output in Southwest Virginia and supported 8.9% of the regional employment in 2010.” (“The Economic Impact Of The Coal Industry In Virginia,” Chmura Economics & Analytics, 1/18/12)

Coal-Fired Power Plants Produced 1,066,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity In Virginia In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly, April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.7.A. Net Generation From Coal)

  • Coal Accounted For 20% Of The 5,199,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In Virginia In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly: April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.6.A. Net Generation)

Obama’s New Regulations On Existing Power Plants Will “Raise Consumers’ Electricity Prices.” “But the move to impose greenhouse gas limits on existing plants — which account for a third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of its carbon emissions — will raise consumers’ electricity prices in the short term as utilities are forced to shutter aging coal plants to comply with stricter pollution limits.” (Juliet Eilperin, “Obama To Take Sweeping Action On Climate,” The Washington Post, 6/22/13)

Virginia Is Already One Of The Hardest-Hit States By Obama’s EPA Regulations

Sixteen Coal-Fired Electricity Units, Producing 2,473 Mega Watts, Are Already Closing In Virginia Due To Obama’s EPA Policies. (“Coal Unit Shutdowns,” American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity, 6/20/13, Table 1)