No 'War on Coal' says Energy Secretary

Oh, really? That will come as good news to the thousands of coal miners and others who work in the coal industry slated to lose their jobs because of EPA regs and Obama executive orders.

Except the guy is full of horse manure. Of course there's a war on coal. The war has been going on for at least 3 years as more than 142 coal fired plants have been shuttered, according to the Sierra Club.

But apparently, that's not considered a war on coal by the administration.


The U.S. government is not waging a "war on coal" but rather expects it to still play a significant role, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Sunday, rejecting criticism of President Barack Obama's climate change plan.

Moniz acknowledged there could be winners and losers but that economic models belie "the statement that there are huge economic impacts" from controlling greenhouse gases.

Obama tried last week to revive his stalled climate change agenda, promising new rules to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants and other domestic actions including support for renewable energy.

The long-awaited plan drew criticism from the coal industry, which would be hit hard by carbon limits, and Republicans, who accused the Democratic president of advancing policies that harm the economy and kill jobs. Environmentalists largely cheered the proposals, though some said the moves did not go far enough.

Obama "expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time," Moniz told Reuters in Vienna, where he was to attend a nuclear security conference.

The way the U.S. administration is "looking at it is: what does it take for us to do to make coal part of a low carbon future," he said, adding this would include higher efficiency plants and new ways of utilizing coal.

It is "all about having, in fact, coal as part of that future," Moniz said. "I don't believe it is a 'war on coal'."

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, the No. 2 U.S. coal mining state after Wyoming, said last week that Obama had "declared a war on coal," and the industry said the rules threatened its viability.

Er...about those reassuring economic models:

New analysis shows that the coal industry is in for some tough years ahead, as more than 280 coal-fired generating units are slated to be shut down in part due to stricter Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a partnership of industry groups, reports that the number of coal plants slated for shutdown is fives times greater than the EPA predicted would be forced to shut down due to its regulations.

Coal-fired electric generating plants will be shut down across 32 states, with the hardest hit states being Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana, according to the coalition.

"Regrettably, the number of coal units being forced to close continues to grow," said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE, in a statement. "Yet, EPA continues to downplay the damage its regulations are causing to the U.S. economy and to the many states that depend on coal for jobs and affordable electricity."

I distinctly remember many of these same environmental groups saying at the time of the passage of the Clean Air Act that the steel industry would hardly be effected. After more than 800.000 steel workers lost their jobs, they never bothered to correct their wildly inaccurate prediction. They never do.

The new rules will have a devastating effect on the coal industry and the economies of those states that will be hardest hit. The Obama administration may continue to insist they are not waging war on coal, but the practical effect of their policies says otherwise.

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