Obama Launches ‘War On Coal’ In Ill-Fated Energy Initiative

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Coal with shovel

President Barack Obama delivered a much-anticipated speech at Georgetown University Tuesday, pledging to use executive orders to implement Federal regulations on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide after being stonewalled by a Democrat-controlled Congress during his first term.

Calling climate change the “threat of our time,” the President settled the controversy over the existence of human-generated global warming and ended any debate about its relative significance by admonishing:

The question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science, of chemistry and physics — millions of measurements have put all that to rest. Ninety-seven per cent of scientists — including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data — have put that to rest. They have acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity has contributed to it.

As an American; as a president; as a father, I am here to say, “We need to act.” Our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind.

Ahead of Obama’s climate change speech, Harvard Environmental Center Director and White House “climate adviser” Daniel P. Schrag told The New York Times that, for the Obama Administration, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

“Everybody is waiting for action,” Schrag 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.”

Why is Obama doing this? In his stillborn, scandal-plagued second term, there is hardly much current political capital the President can tap for even a benign policy initiative. And taking decisive action against the coal industry — in the form of penalties for power plants that generate electricity through the burning of coal — is about as benign an initiative as instituting a state religion.

“When Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, Obama could not get climate control legislation passed. That explains why he is now seeking to go around Congress to enact anti-coal regulations by fiat,” writes Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, who goes on to argue that nothing Obama could have planned will galvanize his political opponents — as well as make opponents of regular Americans affected by the higher energy prices his policies will yield — than living out an Al Gore-type executive fantasy of implementing regressive, punitive energy goals:

The reason even Democrats balked on climate change regulations in the first term (it stalled in the Senate) is because it is economically debilitating, especially in energy producing states; politically unpopular in red states and among the vast majority of all conservatives nationwide; and useless (so long as China, India, etc. don’t follow suit it does virtually nothing for the planet as a whole — even if one buys the global warming hysteria)…

…Conservatives are once again bonded together in common cause against a president bizarrely antagonistic toward domestic energy production and low energy prices. The gubernatorial campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, in a dog fight with Democrat Terry McAuliffe, let loose on the Democrats’ plans, citing the energy resources in Virginia that directly or indirectly contribute to nearly 20,000 jobs and $2.5 billion toward the state economy. Now, there’s an issue that may turn out his base and get independents riled up.

Whether Obama’s executive actions on coal regulations can be mitigated by a saner President in the future, he’s already arming Republicans with everything they need to make mincemeat of their Democratic opponents in local and State elections.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • village idiot

    Always sprouting his agenda at Georgetown University. Is that the only place he can get a decent audience?

  • dan

    bad governance based on bad science….what could go wrong

  • rendarsmith

    “Overwhelming science” – Really? I guess they didn’t read that recent study by those NASA scientists that concluded that more IR rays are actually being REFLECTED back to outer space.
    By the way, wasn’t the science settled a long time ago?

  • FreedomFighter

    “The reason even Democrats balked on climate change regulations in the first term (it stalled in the Senate) is because it is economically debilitating, especially in energy producing states”
    Energy is the life’s blood of a productive nation, debilitate a nations ability to supply energy and all sectors of that countries production grind to a halt. So if you wanted to cripple a country and bring it to its knees economically, socially, and physically — kill the energy supply. — Oblamer is killing America.
    Laus DeoSemper FI

    • SamFox

      Freedom, you just summed up the ‘ progressive’ agenda. This is all being down to bring us down so we can be rebuilt as a totally govt controlled country. 0 wants to put in total govt central planning as a cherry on top of his pile of bile.
      They are doing it to US, ON PURPOSE.
      SamFox

  • YourAntithesis

    He got completely destroyed on that program, The Five. His comments were dissected and he was proven wrong on just about everything he said and his so-called “facts.” There is no doubt in my mind this joker wants to destroy America. He cannot possibly be so stupid to believe what he’s doing benefits this country in any way.

    • Dmac74

      He said he was going to make over America. We had problems but still the best country in the world. I have no idea if we’ll ever come back to the top or even close thanks to this self appointed Ruler.

  • northbrook

    Obama continues to kill jobs and now attempts to punish all Americans by increasing the cost of electric power to promote green energy. Congress needs to grow some balls and stop this president from destroying this nation. Both democrats and republicans need to realize what is happening and work to block the exercising of Obama’s imperial mandates.

    • Dmac74

      He said he was going to do that both times he ran. No one listened. Call me crazy but I miss Bush ,

      • SamFox

        Dmac.

        Heck with Bush. I miss Ron Paul.
        0 is continuing what Bush was doing. The only diff is 0 is doing more to wreck the nation at a faster clip.
        SamFox

  • independent thinker

    I am all for and look forward to the day when 99% of our electricity is produced by “green” energy sources. Having said that I am also a realist and know the technology while much improved over the 1960-70s efforts are still not efficient enough to make them practical on a large scale. Since we have had both solar and wind energy efforts since the 60s & 70s it is past time for government subsidies to end and let the technology “sink or swim” on its own merrits.

    • SamFox

      indie thinker, green won’t get here till govt gets out the way.

      If the fed govt had not stifled the free enterprise system green tech would be much more advanced. It’s free market entrepreneurs who do the best at bringing new stuff, that works, to market.
      We can’t stop our current energy sources UNTILL green alternatives have been up & running long enough to prove they are viable.
      Not criticizing, I am trying to supplement. You are so correct about govt cronyism, the reason for govt subsidies.
      Thanks.
      SamFox

  • ONTIME

    The misuse of office has grown to abuse of office, the coal industry produces 50% of the energy in this country, the coal industry has been one that has improved the use and efficiency of the product they produce and sell, there is no cronyism involved. Nukes produce more than 20% of our energy, co-gen plants around 8%, alternative energy solar, wind around 2%. If you have not made the leap to replace the loss of major production the cost of the remaining product is going to sky rocket, industrial production of goods will decline and also cost more, everything you are associated with to feel comfort and stay healthy is now going to become more than affordable….We are being managed by the lunatics in the communit asylum and WTP had better beging to make some very hard choices between regaining our representation to keep this Republic or there will be no choices but we will have a broken down Amerika……

  • David169

    When is someone going to call bull-shi_ on his executive orders. Any fool who paid attention in school knows that executive orders only effect and have jurisdiction over the executive branch of government. This is an absolute abuse of his office and whoever enforces any of his E.O.s should go to jail.

  • WTS/JAY

    President Obama’s gas-powered war on coal industry…

    President Barack Obama’s war on coal is stirring a lot of anger in parts of the country that have long relied on coal as an engine of prosperity. But little of that anger has been directed at the biggest funder of the War on Coal: the natural gas industry, which stands to reap big rewards from the destruction of coal-fired power plants – given the regulatory barriers to nuclear power and the lack of any other real, commercially viable alternatives.

    The lynchpin of the War on Coal is the so-called Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule. The rule was a product of Sierra Club litigation and requires expensive control technology retrofits at coal-fired power plants.

    The cost, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own low-ball estimate, is $10 billion per year. A more realistic analysis from National Economic Research Associates found compliance costs of $21 billion per year, with 183,000 lost jobs per year.

    continued: http://www.dailyworld.com/article/20120516/OPINION/205160308/President-Obama-s-gas-powered-war-coal-industry
    It’s all pain and no gain – except for the natural gas industry, which stands to reap enormous rewards from the forced conversion of coal-fired power plants to natural gas. That’s probably why between 2007 and 2010, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon donated more than $25 million to the Sierra Club for its “Beyond Coal” campaign.

    A more recent EPA rule following on the heels of UMACT is explicit in forcing power-plant fuel switching from coal to natural gas. It’s the Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standards, the latest installment in the Obama administration’s effort to act as if cap-and-trade had passed by transforming the 1970 Clean Air Act into a global warming law.

    Under the proposed NSPS, coal-fired power plants are instructed that in order to comply with the new emissions standard of 1,000 tons of CO2 per megawatt of power generated, they must convert to natural gas.

  • ChuckS123

    We should be able to determine how much higher people’s power bills are and will be due to war on coal and much money wasted on green energy. Maybe also indirect costs, like your employer having a higher energy bill, so he pays you less. And things you buy costing more. And educate people about that.

  • Dmac74

    When he ran the first time he said he was going to shut down coal power plants and people will see their power bills go sky high . Also he wanted to raise gas prices and cut back on all fossil fuels to stop Americas dependency on them and go green. Just like some other things he said. Now everyone is shocked and up set. I was shocked and upset when coal areas backed him both times. Doesn’t “Anyone” listen to what comes out of his mouth. He hypnotized everyone and sold his snake oil at that circus he put on the first time.Too many bought his snake oil and wandered around in a daze and never “Listened” to what came out of his mouth . Mass brain washing. I didn’t like him from the time he ran for Senator. His politics scared me then. Since he started running for President I was really scared for America. But never thought he’d get elected. But to many people just didn’t listen. They thought they were doing the right thing letting them play the race card. I know people that voted for him just because he’s black. I don’t care what color he is I would not voted for him what ever color, because of what came out of his mouth. Also he had no experience in anything it takes to hold the Oval Office.

    To me he is an illegal trespasser in the peoples White House. Not only do I not believe he was born here or to 2 legal Americans, but look at all the voter fraud that people are being arrested for. I have a question for them—– is he really worth going to jail for? I sure wouldn’t think so.

  • Ibn Insha

    It gets worse before it gets better or does it? May be we have not reached that point yet. Remember, majority elected this clown into office twice and that is scary because in the next election they might elect another clown. We are victims of tyranny of majority. That is why our founding fathers wrote the constitution which we obviously have forgotten. We are a free country. We have freedom to make wrong decisions but majority’s wrong decisions hurt the minority. We can only pray and wait.

    • SamFox

      ibn, I am not so sure 0 won fair & square. Not that Mitt woulda been much better..

      Every one needs to research black vote fraud. And do something.

      We need to return to hand counted paper ballots. It’s not the votes that determine an election any more. It’s who counts the votes.

      We need to dump the R half of the Big Govt Party if they give us more RINO-CINOs like Romney & McManchurian.
      SamFox