Monday, October 26, 2009

Obama's War on Coal

During the presidential campaign, Senator Obama bragged to the San Francisco Chronicle that anyone planning to build a coal burning power plant in the United States during his administration would go bankrupt. But you wouldn't find that quote in the Chronicle.  Thankfully someone leaked the audio.  Remember this?

And what about the admission that electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket under his plan?

Well last month, true to his word, and without waiting for cap and trade legislation, the Obama EPA put the breaks on 79 applications for surface coal mining in four states.  Via AP:
President Barack Obama's administration put the brakes on 79 applications for surface coal mining permits in four states Wednesday, saying they would violate the Clean Water Act.
The action is the administration's latest attempt to curb environmental damage from a highly efficient but damaging mining practice known as mountaintop removal. Each permit likely would cause significant damage to water quality and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement.
And last week, the EPA went even further, announcing plans to revoke a permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia - a move that has caused anxiety among coal-state Democrats about the future of the industry under the Obama administration.  The people of West Virginia probably saw this coming, because John McCain carried the state in the 2008 election, but the governor seemed quite surprised:
Although his favored cap-and-trade bill hasn't yet been passed, West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin III, who supported Mr. Obama's candidacy, called the EPA moves part of a stealth campaign to stifle the industry.

"Right now, my belief is that they're trying to kill off surface mining through regulation what they cannot get done through legislation," Mr. Manchin told MetroNews Talkline, a West Virginia call-in radio program, earlier this month. In West Virginia, 23 permits are being held up, with other affected states being Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) doesn't like it either:
But Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, who also backed the Obama presidential bid, is outraged that the EPA is revoking a permit in his state. "I am angry with the EPA's announcement that they will use veto power to revoke the authorized Spruce Mine permit in Logan," he said. "It is wrong and unfair for the EPA to change the rules for a permit that is already active."
And this from the West Virginia Register-Herald:
Coal is under attack by the Obama administration. And now, even those who supported the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 have come to that realization.
In this case, I guess Obama meant exactly what he said.  Unfortunately nobody was listening.

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