Say goodbye to the coal industry
The White House is ready to solve the global warming crisis.
I know you're relieved to hear that. It was probably right at the top of a list of things that keep you awake at night. Unfortunately, if you work in the coal industry, you now have something else to worry about; your job.
And if you live in an area where electrical power is generated by a coal-fired power plant, you best be prepared to worry how you're going to pay your electric bill.
The Obama administration is readying a set of rules to govern carbon dioxide emission from existing power plants. There is likely to be a phase-in period but that's of precious little use when you consider the conversion costs. It's estimated that we will lose about 40 gigawatts of electricity as about 10% of all coal fired plants in the US shut down.
It's already impossible to build a new coal fired plant thanks to EPA rules governing emissions for new power plants. With new rules governing existing plants, the coal industry will cease to exist as we know it. Imagine destroying 10% of the mobile phone industry and vastly curtail future growth. How many workers would lose their jobs? How many companies would go under?
The president is preparing to move soon because rules as complex as those applying to power plants can take years to complete. Experts say that if Mr. Obama hopes to have a new set of greenhouse gas standards for utilities in place before he leaves office he needs to begin before the end of this year.
Heather Zichal, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, said Wednesday that the president would announce climate policy initiatives in coming weeks. Another official said a presidential address outlining the new policy, which will also include new initiatives on renewable power and energy efficiency, could come as early as next week.
Ms. Zichal said none of the initiatives being considered by the administration required legislative action or new financing from Congress.
In a speech in Berlin on Wednesday, Mr. Obama echoed his assertive talk on climate policy since his re-election, talk that some climate advocates have criticized as going beyond his actions. He said the United States and the world had a moral imperative to take "bold action" to slow the warming of the planet.
"The grim alternative affects all nations -- more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise," Mr. Obama said. "This is the global threat of our time."
He added, "We have to get to work."
The president also said in his Berlin speech, "Peace with justice means refusing to condemn our children to a harsher, less hospitable planet." So where's the social "justice" in costing thousands of Americans their jobs? Or destroying an entire industry? Or forcing people to pay double for electricity than they were paying previously?
Yes, but it's all for us, little children - all for our own good. All the coercive, overbearing, big government moves taken by Obama have only one goal; making some people's lives better. Of course, others will suffer, but them's the breaks.
The new rules will be challenged in court, but given that SCOTUS has specifically granted the federal government the authority to treat CO2 as pollution, there doesn't appear to be anything standing in the way of this power grab.