Over the course of the past many months, we have watched the developments of the MPCA regarding the clean power plan.
Our organization has evolved into a highly specialized trade craft that mainly works in the fossil fuel industry. The Clean Power Plan, as written, will decimate our industry, period. Therefore, we have spent a considerable amount of time looking at all points of this issue, and the one thing we have noticed the most is the complete lack of true economic impact studies as they relate to the thousands of people that work in the energy sector.
The job losses that people are talking about are the immediate ones — people who work at coal fired power plants. The jobs that are not be talked about or thought of are all the surrounding area spin off jobs, building trades, area manufacturing, area businesses that are vendors to the plants themselves.
Along with this, how will raising energy costs affect statewide manufacturing and industry as a whole? Why would a company continue to do business here or start one in Minnesota when the basic energy costs are higher than neighboring states?
On a grander scale, why would companies maintain or build any industry in the U.S. when they can go to Asia and get their labor and energy cheaper?
This entire endeavor has not been thought through enough and the projected benefits of it are nothing more than someone’s best hopes. The only thing we see this plan doing is crushing an industry that has been the backbone to the growth of this country and helped make it what it is today.
I understand the science of this issue and understand that we do need to take care of our planet. I have a wife and three young daughters who I am concerned about the future for. Not only in regards to the welfare of the planet, but for the welfare of our country. I hope to see them go through school and become whatever they choose to be.
My fear is the Clean Power Plan will destroy the reliable and affordable energy we have today and completely eliminate the manufacturing industry in our state and country, thereby creating a society of nothing but consumers without a place to work.
Minnesota has always been a leader in environmental standards and innovation. Why don’t we look at ways to clean up fossil fuels and be a leader in technology that would have more global impact than simply slamming the doors on our few remaining coal fired plants? We would put thousands of people to work — scientist, engineers, manufacturing facilities, building trades, contractors, vendors and suppliers of all types.
We could change the way power is produced and help other countries around the world with the technology, and truly make a difference for the next generation.
Boilermakers Local 647
See the article here.
- On July 12, 2016