U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is a funny guy. He took his comedy routine on the road this week, telling attendees at the Mid-Atlantic Region Energy Innovation Forum at West Virginia University that the Obama administration isn’t waging a “war on coal” In fact, it is working to maintain coal as an important part of a low-carbon energy future.Moniz’s boss is a man who proposed a plan in 2008 under which electricity rates would “necessarily” skyrocket. “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can,” President Obama said. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”And Hillary Clinton, who wants to be the new boss, has said in a campaign speech, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”Sure sounds like a war. And, as the casualties mount up, it looks a lot like one, too. Over the past five years, dozens of U.S. coal mining companies have had to declare bankruptcy, including many of the nation’s largest companies. The number of operating coal mines has plummeted from 1,013 in early 2009 to fewer than 400 today. America now has 83,000 fewer coal jobs than it did when Obama took office.
- On September 14, 2016