Energy Policy: President Obama’s war on coal took its biggest leap yet last week when the Department of the Interior announced that it will suspend all new leases for coal production on federal lands.
Along with Obama’s multiple EPA regulations, including his Clean Power Plant executive action, this could cripple future coal mining in America, from West Virginia to Montana.
That isn’t collateral damage. It’s the specific intent of a president who, step by relentless step, is trying to shut down America’s fossil fuel industry. And it is further indication, as if we needed one, that our president is a global-warming zealot who puts his environmental ideology ahead of the interests of American workers and American industry.
So much for the liberal pretense of supporting an “all of the above energy strategy.” As we have noted many times, even if Obama succeeds in shutting down every last coal plant in America, the impact on global carbon emissions will be minuscule. China and India alone are building 500 to 1,000 new coal plants over the next several years.
The Obama strategy is to make American coal so expensive that the industry can’t survive in global markets.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement released Friday: “We have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impacts on climate change.”
Obama made exactly the same point in his State of the Union address, vowing to increase the tax on coal to reflect its impact on the planet. Environmentalists want a “production tax” of as much as $40 a ton, which would also decapitate the industry.
These assaults come at a time when the industry is suffering from extremely low international prices. Colin Marshall, the chairman of Cloud Peak Energy, a major U.S. coal producer, didn’t mince words when he said that Obama “has chosen to pander to special-interest groups whose stated goal is to shut down the U.S. coal industry.”
Radical environmentalists are ecstatic. They also don’t disguise their end goal.
“From our point of view, the only way that you can manage the coal and combat climate change is by keeping it in the ground,” said Jeremy Nichols of WildEarth Guardians.
In other words: death to the coal industry.
The Obama action is also a big victory for Seattle billionaire Paul Allen. His family foundation has helped bring a lawsuit against the Interior Department to analyze the impact of coal on global warming. It’s safe to say that no one in the Allen family will lose his job if hundreds of thousands of middle-class coal miners lose theirs.
See the article here.
- On January 20, 2016