Collateral Damage

Obama’s administration is hell-bent on pushing their environmental agendas, and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process.

The EPA is planning on introducing new regulations for coal production that “will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent”. Thanks to John Lott for pointing out this article.

On the ground in the real world, I have a very close friend who works in the anti-pollution industry as a project manager. You would think that tighter environmental controls would help his business. After all, coal-consuming power plants will have to buy their company’s technology in order to stay in business under these new regulations, right? That’s what I thought when I first heard about this.

But what is actually happening is that the energy producers that use coal are being forced to evaluate what the new cost of meeting the regulations will be, and whether they can continue to operate in a cost-effective way under those regulations. This problem is compounded because of the uncertainty about what the regulations will be going forward. They are afraid that even if they meet the current rules, they will have to throw even more money at it later if the rules change again. Adding new capacity is extremely expensive to do as an afterthought.

Many of these energy producers are postponing existing anti-pollution projects until they see what happens with the EPA on these new regulations. This is why my friend’s company is already being affected. Other companies are contemplating whether to cease operations altogether, for the same reason. ADDENDUM: It’s already started! AEP is beginning to close plants. Sixteen in Texas alone!

And my friend’s company has little new work on the books. Obviously not a good situation for the employees and investors in that company.

Not to mention the hardship on millions of Americans imposed by the predicted increase in electric rates – which hits low income families the hardest, obviously. The EPA says this will save more money than it costs in terms of improved air quality and related health benefits. They are not taking into account those who get pushed over the economic edge – because that effects health, too. Let’s see now – do we eat this week, or stay warm?

THIS is the kind of help people are getting from the Obama administration: less jobs, and more costs – and it is totally unnecessary!


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