Research

No Fanfare For Obama’s War On Coal

Job Creators, Unions, And Democrats Are Lining Up To Knock Obama’s New “Crippling” Regulation

Yesterday, The Obama Administration Announced A New Carbon Regulation, Taking Aim At The Country’s Coal-Fired Power Plants. “The Obama administration on Monday announced one of the strongest actions ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change, a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants.” (Coral Davenport, “Unveiling New Carbon Plan, E.P.A. Focuses On Flexibility,” The New York Times, 6/2/14)

It’s “Clear That The Economic Stakes Are Enormous” For Obama’s New Coal Regulation. “While the administration was still completing crucial elements of the plan, it was already clear that the economic stakes are enormous. The new regulations could eventually shutter hundreds of coal-fired power plants. Critics wasted little time arguing that the president’s unilateral plan abuses his power in a way that will cost jobs and raise energy prices for consumers.” (Peter Baker And Coral Davenport, “Using Executive Powers, Obama Begins His Last Big Push On Climate Policy,” The New York Times, 5/31/14)

  • A West Virginia Coal Miner Says That The New Obama Regulation Will Be The Most “Crippling” Yet. REPORTER: “Coal is Logan County and Roger Horton is one of many who’s dedicated his life mining it.” HORTON: “Coal has been my livelihood. It’s been good. I put two kids through college with it. I put my wife through school.” REPORTER: “In recent years, there have been a number of setbacks to the industry. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce new rules on limiting carbon emissions from thousands of U.S. power plants.” HORTON: “We will be, in my mind, the hardest hit of any state. It will be as crippling effect that has ever been given to us yet.” (WOWK-WV, 6/2/14)
  • According To A University Of Kentucky Professor, Companies Will Be Forced To Ship Coal Out Of The Country, Producing “Fewer Jobs For Kentuckians.” “A UK Professor says American power plants using less coal, means companies will ship coal out of the country.  Frank Scott says that means fewer jobs for Kentuckians. ‘It is costlier to mine coal and ship it across the world to China, or across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, and so coal mined in Kentucky is at a competitive disadvantage the further it has to travel,’ said Frank Scott, UK Economics Professor.” (Aaron Adelson, “Several KY Politicians Criticize EPA CO2 Emissions Plan,” WTVQ, 6/2/14)

OBAMA’S COAL REGULATION WILL “TRIGGER A MAJOR BATTLE” WITHIN HIS PARTY

“Some Of The Loudest Cries Of Opposition” To Obama’s New Coal Regulation “Are Likely To Come From Members Of His Party.” “When President Obama announces new rules Monday governing carbon emissions from coal plants, some of the loudest cries of opposition are likely to come from members of his party.” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

  • The Washington Post Headline: “Coal State Democrats To Obama: Curb Emissions? Um, No Thanks.” (Sean Sullivan, “Coal State Democrats To Obama: Curb Emissions? Um, No Thanks.” The Washington Post, 6/2/14)

The New Rule Will “Trigger A Major Battle” With Coal-State Democrats And Business Groups. “The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday released new rules that call on power plants to cut their carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The new rules, posted on the EPA’s website on Monday, are the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change plan, and are set to trigger a major battle with Republicans, coal-state Democrats and business groups.” (Laura Barron-Lopez, “EPA Unveils Landmark Climate Rule,” The Hill, 6/2/14)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): Obama’s Regulation Demonstrate “Little Regard For Rising Consumer Prices, The Effects On Jobs And The Impact On The Reliability Of Our Electric Grid.” “Instead, today’s rule appears to be more about desirability rather than reliability or feasibility, with little regard for rising consumer prices, the effects on jobs and the impact on the reliability of our electric grid.” (Sen. Joe Manchin, Press Release, 6/2/14)

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) Called Obama’s Regulation “Outrageous” And Said West Virginia’s “Worst Fears Were Realized.” “Tombin said not a single coal-fired power plant, with its current emission numbers, would be in compliance with the proposals. The governor called the proposals ‘outrageous’ and said the state’s ‘worst fears were realized.’” (Jeff Jenkins, “Tomblin: Not A Single Coal Plant In Mountain State Would Be Legal Under Proposed EPA Rules,” WV Metro News, 6/2/14)

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY), On Obama’s Regulation: “I Am Still Extremely Concerned That It Does Not Provide Adequate Flexibility Or Attainable Goals.” “However, I am still extremely concerned that it does not provide adequate flexibility or attainable goals. This is a 650-page proposal and my administration will continue our review. We plan on being very active and vocal during the 120-day comment period to ensure Kentucky’s families and businesses are protected.” (Gov. Steve Beshear, “Gov. Beshear’s Statement On EPA Carbon Emissions Proposal,” Press Release, 6/2/14)

With His Coal Regulation, Obama Has Put Many Of His Fellow Democrats In A Midterm Bind

The Washington Post Headline: “Tougher Emissions Rules Dividing Democrats” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

The EPA’s New Coal Regulation “Will Put Democrats On Their Heels.” “The EPA’s expected announcement at 9 a.m. ET, followed by a news conference with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy at 10:30 a.m. ET, of new regulations that would require states to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 will put Democrats on their heels with yet another issue in the short term.” (Domenico Montanaro, Terence Burlij, And Rachel Wellford, “EPA’s New Rules Put Democrats On Their Heels,” PBS, 6/2/14)

Obama Is Releasing The Rule Months Before Midterm Elections, Placing Increased Pressure On Red-State Democrats. “The Obama administration is releasing the rule just months before the midterm elections, where several red-state Democrats are already facing pressure from their Republican challengers for this climate initiative. Mr. Obama, who hopes to make climate change a legacy of his time in the White House, directed the EPA to write this rule after Congress defeated a climate bill in 2010.” (Amy Harder, “EPA Says Climate-Change Rule To Cost Up To $8.8 Billion Annually,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/14)

  • “That Puts Big Democratic Donors For Whom Environmentalism And Climate Change Are Leading Causes, Led By California Investor And Billionaire Tom Steyer” In An “Awkward Position.” “That puts big Democratic donors for whom environmentalism and climate change are leading causes, led by California investor and billionaire Tom Steyer, in the awkward position of supporting candidates who don’t take the same view. Steyer has said he will spend up to $50 million of his own money and an additional $50 million through his NextGen Climate Action PAC on Democratic candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

The Regulation Puts “A Spotlight On A Growing Division Within The Democratic Party” Between Major Environmental Donors And “Candidates Whose Fates Will Decide Control Of The Senate And Who Hail From Energy-Producing States.” “The regulations, aimed at combating a rapidly changing climate by implementing state-by-state limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, will shine a spotlight on a growing division within the Democratic Party: On one side are major donors, who take a particular interest in environmental causes and are becoming increasingly important to the party. On the other are the candidates whose fates will decide control of the Senate and who hail from energy-producing states, where regulations on coal-fired power plants could have the most detrimental effects.” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

“Democrats From Coal-Producing States Are Acutely Nervous With Midterm Elections Approaching.” (Peter Baker And Coral Davenport, “Using Excutive Powers, Obama Begins His Last Big Push On Climate Policy,” The New York Times, 5/31/14)

  • “Democrats Will Still Have To Defend This Policy On The Campaign Trail In Conservative States This Fall.” (Juliet Eilperin And Steven Mufson, “EPA To Propose Cutting Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Coal Plants 30% By 2030,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

With So Many Democrats In Jeopardy Because Of The Plan, It’s No Wonder Obama Chose A “Low-Wattage Rollout”

“And Yet The President Seems To Have Chosen A Low-Wattage Rollout Of The Plan.” (Peter Baker And Coral Davenport, “Using Executive Powers, Obama Begins His Last Big Push On Climate Policy,” The New York Times, 5/31/14)

  • Obama Did Not Unveil The Regulation “In A Televised East Room Address Or Travel To Some Out-Of-Town Venue For A Big Speech, As He Has For Moves Of Far Less Import.” “He will not unveil it in a televised East Room address or travel to some out-of-town venue for a big speech, as he has for moves of far less import. Instead, he will leave it to Ms. McCarthy to announce on Monday, while he plays a supporting role by making a telephone call to the American Lung Association.” (Peter Baker And Coral Davenport, “Using Executive Powers, Obama Begins His Last Big Push On Climate Policy,” The New York Times, 5/31/14)

That “Low-Key Rollout” Comes “From The Man Who Once Boldly Predicted His Election Would Be Remembered As The Moment When ‘Our Planet Began To Heal.’” “The low-key rollout from the man who once boldly predicted his election would be remembered as the moment when ‘our planet began to heal’ and likened the climate change challenge to the U.S. space program shows just how far the president has shifted his strategy.” (Kathleen Hennessey, “EPA To Make President Obama’s Big Move On Climate Change,” The Los Angeles Times, 5/31/14)

Obama Has “Kept An Eye On The Politics Of An Issue That Remains Low On The Priority List For Most Voters.” Still, the president and the White House have kept an eye on the politics of an issue that remains low on the priority list for most voters. He’s careful to talk about the rising costs of extreme weather events and natural disasters, rather than ice caps and polar bears, as a way of driving the issue home. The White House is loath to use loaded labels like ‘environmentalist.’” (Kathleen Hennessey, “EPA To Make President Obama’s Big Move On Climate Change,” The Los Angeles Times, 5/31/14)

DEMOCRATS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES RUNNING – JOB CREATORS, UNIONS, AND OBAMA ALLIES ARE WARY OF HIS “SHORTSIGHTED” POLICY

The United Mine Workers, A Union Affiliated With The AFL-CIO, Criticized The Regulation

United Mine Workers Of America President Cecil Roberts: Obama’s New Rule “Will Lead To Long-Term And Irreversible Job Losses For Thousands” Of Workers. “The proposed rule issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.” (United Mine Workers Of America, Press Release, 6/2/14)

  • United Mine Workers Estimated That The Total Economic Impact From The Regulation Would Be “About 485,000 Permanent Jobs Lost.” “Our initial analysis indicates that there will be a loss of 75,000 direct coal generation jobs in the United States by 2020. Those are jobs primarily in coal mines, power plants, and railroads. By 2035, those job losses will more than double to 152,000. That amounts to about a 50 percent cut in these well-paying, highly skilled jobs. When a U.S. government economic multiplier used to calculate the impact of job losses is applied to the entire economy, we estimate that the total impact will be about 485,000 permanent jobs lost.” (United Mine Workers Of America, Press Release, 6/2/14)

Even Obama’s Former Campaign Manager Encouraged Democrats To Sue Over The New Regulation

Obama’s Former Campaign Manager, Jim Cauley, Encouraged Democrats To Sue Over The Coal Regulation. “‘If I were running, I would get the governor to sue and try to tie it up in the courts,’ said Jim Cauley, a Kentucky-based Democratic strategist who managed Obama’s first Senate campaign. ‘Coal has just become the cultural litmus test as to whose side you are on.’” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

  • Cauley: “If I Were Running, I Would Get The Governor To Sue And Try To Tie It Up In The Courts.” “‘If I were running, I would get the governor to sue and try to tie it up in the courts,’ said Jim Cauley, a Kentucky-based Democratic strategist who managed Obama’s first Senate campaign. ‘Coal has just become the cultural litmus test as to whose side you are on.’” (Reid Wilson, “Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats,” The Washington Post, 6/1/14)

Job Creators Called Obama’s Regulation “Shortsighted”

National Federation Of Independent Business: “Administration’s Cap And Trade Plan Could Mean Lights Out For Small Businesses” (National Federation Of Independent Business, Press Release, “Administration’s Cap And Trade Plan Could Mean Lights Out For Small Businesses,” 6/2/14)

  • National Federation Of Independent Business On New EPA Regulation: “Once Again, The Administration Has Not Considered The Impact Of Rising Electricity Prices On Small Business.” “‘Once again, the Administration has not considered the impact of rising electricity prices on small business,’ said Bosch.” (National Federation Of Independent Business, Press Release, “Administration’s Cap And Trade Plan Could Mean Lights Out For Small Businesses,” 6/2/14)

National Association Of Manufacturers President And CEO Jay Timmons: The New Regulation Is “A Clear Indication That The Obama Administration Is Fundamentally Against An ‘All-Of-The-Above’ Energy Strategy” And Manufacturers Will Pay The Price. “National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed standard for existing power plants: ‘As users of one-third of the energy produced in the United States, manufacturers rely on secure and affordable energy to compete in a tough global economy, and recent gains are largely due to the abundance of energy we now enjoy. Today’s proposal from the EPA could singlehandedly eliminate this competitive advantage by removing reliable and abundant sources of energy from our nation’s energy mix. It is a clear indication that the Obama Administration is fundamentally against an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and unfortunately, manufacturers are likely to pay the price for this shortsighted policy.’” (National Association Of Manufacturers, Press Release, 6/2/14)

  • National Association Of Manufacturers: Obama’s Coal Regulation Is “Shortsighted Policy.” “Today’s proposal from the EPA could singlehandedly eliminate this competitive advantage by removing reliable and abundant sources of energy from our nation’s energy mix. It is a clear indication that the Obama Administration is fundamentally against an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and unfortunately, manufacturers are likely to pay the price for this shortsighted policy.” (National Association Of Manufacturers, Press Release, 6/2/14)