The cornerstone belief of American liberals is that the United States is too rich and too powerful. And, if you want to make America poorer and weaker, the easiest way to do so is by preventing the development of our energy resources. Such a policy hobbles our economy and causes massive transfers of wealth from the U.S. to other countries, many of which are hostile. Liberals think this is all to the good, but pretty much every other American disagrees.
The Obama administration’s energy policies have been a disaster, assuming that American decline is not your objective. We have written many times about the administration’s efforts to suppress development of our oil resources, but coal is equally important. The United States is blessed with extraordinary deposits of coal, but Obama is determined to prevent us from using it to generate cheap and plentiful electricity. Obama wasn’t kidding when he said, as a candidate, that his policies would cause electricity prices to “skyrocket.”
U.S. News reports that Obama’s EPA is promulgating regulations that will cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs:
Two new EPA pollution regulations 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, according to a new study based on government data.
Overall, the rules aimed at making the air cleaner could cost the coal-fired power plant industry $180 billion, warns a trade group. …
Referring to the analysis of the EPA regulations from National Economic Research Associates, Miller said they would be the most expensive rules ever imposed on power plants.
That was yesterday. Today, American Electric Power announced that it will close down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions to comply with the EPA’s proposed regulations:
Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations. …
The company, one of the country’s largest electric utilities, estimated that it will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion in capital investments over the next decade to comply with the regulations in their current form.
The costs of complying with the regulations will result in an increase in electricity prices of 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs, AEP said.
In total, AEP estimated it will have to close five coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014. Six additional plants would see major changes, including retiring some generating units, retrofitting equipment and switching to natural gas.
Of course, the administration is trying to block development of natural gas, too. Of all of the Obama administration’s perverse economic policies, its anti-energy agenda is most likely to make Obama a one-term president.