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2014 Troubles: Job-Killing Energy Policies

- July 15, 2014

For 2014 Democrats, Obama's War On Coal And Keystone Obstruction Are Weighing Down Their Campaigns

OBAMA'S "WAR ON COAL" HAS PUT 2014 DEMOCRATS ON THEIR HEELS

Last Month, The Obama Administration Announced A New Carbon Regulation, Taking Aim At The Country's Coal-Fired Power Plants. "The Obama administration on Monday announced one of the strongest actions ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change, a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation's power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation's more than 600 coal-fired power plants." (Coral Davenport, "Unveiling New Carbon Plan, E.P.A. Focuses On Flexibility," The New York Times, 6/2/14)

  • The Rule "Would Effectively Shutter Coal Plants Across The U.S., Hurting The Economy And Energy Jobs." "Instead, such mandates would effectively shutter coal plants across the U.S., hurting the economy and energy jobs, pro-coal Democrats and Republicans claim. The senators recommended that Obama evaluate 'more appropriate ways to regulate emissions.'" (Laura Barron-Lopez, "Senate Dems To Obama: Reconsider Coal Rules," The Hill, 5/21/14)
  • "[N]o Matter How Much Flexibility The EPA's Rule Offers, Somebody Will Have To Pay For Complying With It - And Again, Coal Customers Would Feel The Biggest Hit." "But no matter how much flexibility the EPA's rule offers, somebody will have to pay for complying with it - and again, coal customers would feel the biggest hit. Utilities heavy on coal-fired power would be the ones paying for credits in any carbon-trading scheme, while utilities with lots of gas, nuclear and wind power would have credits to sell." (Erica Martinson, "President Obama's Big Carbon Crackdown Readies For Launch," Politico, 5/16/14)

The EPA's New Coal Regulation "Will Put Democrats On Their Heels." "The EPA's expected announcement at 9 a.m. ET, followed by a news conference with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy at 10:30 a.m. ET, of new regulations that would require states to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 will put Democrats on their heels with yet another issue in the short term." (Domenico Montanaro, Terence Burlij, And Rachel Wellford, "EPA's New Rules Put Democrats On Their Heels," PBS, 6/2/14)

  • The Washington Post Headline: "Tougher Emissions Rules Dividing Democrats" (Reid Wilson, "Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats," The Washington Post , 6/1/14)
  • The Regulation Puts "A Spotlight On A Growing Division Within The Democratic Party" Between Major Environmental Donors And "Candidates Whose Fates Will Decide Control Of The Senate And Who Hail From Energy-Producing States." "The regulations, aimed at combating a rapidly changing climate by implementing state-by-state limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, will shine a spotlight on a growing division within the Democratic Party: On one side are major donors, who take a particular interest in environmental causes and are becoming increasingly important to the party. On the other are the candidates whose fates will decide control of the Senate and who hail from energy-producing states, where regulations on coal-fired power plants could have the most detrimental effects." (Reid Wilson, "Tougher Emissions Rules Diving Democrats," The Washington Post , 6/1/14)

Even Democrat Allies Are Wary Of Obama's "War On Coal"

United Mine Workers Of America President Cecil Roberts Estimated That The Total Economic Impact From The Regulation Would Be "About 485,000 Permanent Jobs Lost." "Our initial analysis indicates that there will be a loss of 75,000 direct coal generation jobs in the United States by 2020. Those are jobs primarily in coal mines, power plants, and railroads. By 2035, those job losses will more than double to 152,000. That amounts to about a 50 percent cut in these well-paying, highly skilled jobs. When a U.S. government economic multiplier used to calculate the impact of job losses is applied to the entire economy, we estimate that the total impact will be about 485,000 permanent jobs lost." (United Mine Workers Of America, Press Release, 6/2/14)

Senator Joe Manchin: "'It's Clear Now That The President Has Declared A War On Coal.'" " Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) blasted President Obama's proposals to address climate change, saying new regulations on power plants would unfairly burden the coal industry. 'The regulations the President wants to force on coal are not feasible. And if it's not feasible, it's not reasonable. It's clear now that the President has declared a war on coal. It's simply unacceptable that one of the key elements of his climate change proposal places regulations on coal that are completely impossible to meet with existing technology.'" (Justin Sink, Manchin: Obama Declared 'War On Coal' , 6/25/13)

Coal Plays A Vital Role In The Economies Of States With Competitive Senate And Gubernatorial Campaigns

"Many Vulnerable Democrats" In 2014 Come "From Energy-Producing States," Including Many States That Rely On Coal. "The Environmental Protection Agency's new rule on carbon pollution is the latest headache for Democrats trying to defend a fragile Senate majority. With many vulnerable Democrats coming from energy-producing states, Republicans argued the Obama administration's call for power plants to cut their carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030 would cost local jobs and increase energy prices." (Alexandra Jaffe, "Democrats' New Coal Headache," The Hill, 6/2/14)

  • "Democrats From Coal-Producing States Are Acutely Nervous With Midterm Elections Approaching." (Peter Baker And Coral Davenport, "Using Excutive Powers, Obama Begins His Last Big Push On Climate Policy," The New York Times, 5/31/14)

In West Virginia, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 111,190 Jobs And Accounted For 95% Of The 7,713,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State . ("Coal In West Virginia," National Mining Association, Accessed 5/30/14; Electric Power Monthly: March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In Kentucky, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 89,350 Jobs And Accounted For 90% Of The 7,618,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State. ("Coal In Kentucky," National Mining Association, Accessed 5/30/14; Electric Power Monthly: March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In Illinois, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 31,180 Jobs And Accounted For 46% Of The 17,301,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State . ("Coal In Illinois," National Mining Association, Accessed 7/11/14; Electric Power Monthly: March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In Ohio, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 27,540 Jobs And Accounted For 72% Of The 12,291,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State. ("Coal In Ohio," National Mining Association, Accessed 7/11/14; Electric Power Monthly: March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In Colorado, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 19,000 Jobs And Accounted For 55% Of The 4,314,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In Colorado In The State. ("Coal In Colorado," National Mining Association, Accessed 5/30/14; Electric Power Monthly, March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In North Carolina, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 9,160 Jobs And Accounted For 47% Of The 10,658,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State. ("Coal In North Carolina," National Mining Association, Accessed 5/30/14; Electric Power Monthly, March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

In Michigan, The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 8,190 Jobs And Accounted For 57% Of The 8,545,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In The State . ("Coal In Michigan," National Mining Association, Accessed 5/30/14; Electric Power Monthly: March 2014, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 7/14/14)

Despite The Importance Of Coal In Their Home States, Senate Democrats Ducked A Vote On Curbing Obama's "War On Coal"

Senate Democrats Have Continued To Duck A Vote On The "War On Coal" Amendment. "The war over the 'war on coal' has been postponed after Democrats pushed off a second fiscal 2015 spending bill in the Senate. Late Wednesday, the Appropriations Committee decided not to move forward as scheduled with Thursday's markup of the bill that funds the Energy Department, as well as water development projects." (Niels Lesniewski, "Democrats Ducking Vote On 'War On Coal' Amendment - For Now," Roll Call, 6/18/14)

  • "[T]he McConnell Amendment Would Require Certification That Neither Electricity Prices Would Go Up, Nor Jobs Be Eliminated, As A Result Of Implementing New Rules On Existing Power Plants." "According to a senior GOP aide, the McConnell amendment would require certification that neither electricity prices would go up, nor jobs be eliminated, as a result of implementing new rules on existing power plants. Without such a certification, the rules would not be able to move forward. The Environmental Protection Agency outlined its plans on June 2, and McConnell has been pledging to use any tools at his disposal to stop the action." (Niels Lesniewski, "McConnell Plots Coal Amendment To Energy Spending Bill," Roll Call, 6/17/14)
  • "The Move Avoids A Potentially Problematic Vote For Senate Democrats And The Obama Administration…" "The move avoids a potentially problematic vote for Senate Democrats and the Obama administration that could have stopped the Environmental Protection Agency's bid to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants - regulations that have the affect of targeting pollution from coal." (Niels Lesniewski, "Democrats Ducking Vote On 'War On Coal' Amendment - For Now," Roll Call, 6/18/14)

Under The Threat Of Veto, Top Senate Democrats Scuttled A Vote On A Major Spending Bill That Would End The Democrats' "War On Coal." "Top senators signaled the White House threatened to veto a Senate spending bill over a possible amendment from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to block EPA power plant regulations. The amendment, billed by the Kentucky Republican as a fight against the Environmental Protection Agency's 'war on coal' was cited by the chairwomen of the full Appropriations Committee and the Energy-Water Subcommittee as the key factor in removing that fiscal 2015 bill from Thursday morning's markup agenda." (Niels Lesniewski, "White House Threatened Veto Of Spending Bill Over McConnell Amendment," Roll Call, 6/19/14)

WHILE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE BUILT, DON'T EXPECT ANY HELP FROM DEMOCRATS

The Washington Post Headline: "Support For Keystone XL Pipeline Is Almost Universal." (Aaron Blake, "Support For Keystone XL Pipeline Is Almost Universal," The Washington Post, 6/26/14)

  • Pew Poll: 61 Percent Of Americans Favor The Keystone XL Pipeline, While 27 Percent Oppose It. (Aaron Blake, "Support For Keystone XL Pipeline Is Almost Universal," The Washington Post, 6/26/14)
  • "Even Democrats Who Prefer To Develop Alternate Energy Sources Before Expanding The Use Of Fossil Fuels Say They Want The Keystone XL Pipeline Built." (Aaron Blake, "Support For Keystone XL Pipeline Is Almost Universal," The Washington Post, 6/26/14)

Vulnerable Senate Democrats, Who Claim Support For Keystone Pipeline, Sided With Harry Reid In Blocking Keystone

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, With The Support Of Nearly All Senate Democrats, Used A Procedural Maneuver To Block A Vote On Keystone Pipeline. "Senate Democrats defeated Republican attempts to bring up amendments to an energy efficiency bill on Wednesday. Republicans filed a motion to table Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) amendments he used to 'fill the tree' but it failed on a 45-52 vote." (Ramsey Cox, "Senate Dems Block GOP Attempt To Amend Energy Bill," The Hill, 5/7/14)

  • Senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, And Mark Begich All Joined With Harry Reid, Killing A Vote On The Keystone XL Pipeline. (S. 2262, Roll Call Vote #132 , Defeated 45-52: R 44-0; D 1-52, 5/7/14, Landrieu Voted Nay, Hagan Voted Nay, Begich Voted Nay)
  • In May, Senate Candidate Gary Peters (D-MI) Voted Against House Legislation That Would Approve Construction Of The Northern Leg Of The Keystone XL Pipeline. (H.R. 3, Roll Call Vote 179, Passed 241-175: R 222-0; D 19-175, Peters Voted Nay)

Even Senator Landrieu, Who Claims Support For Keystone, Pledged To Abandon Her Own Keystone Bill Once It Made It Out Of Committee. "The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that failed to get to the floor last month after negotiations regarding an energy-efficiency measure collapsed. The bill, co-sponsored by committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., likely will clear the committee. Whether it gets a shot on the floor is another story, but it gives Landrieu, facing a tough re-election challenge from GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, an opportunity to act on the pipeline that has strong support in her state. … 'Then it's going to be up to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] as to whether they can negotiate a straight-up vote on Keystone. That will be their negotiation. I will have done my part,' Landrieu said." (Zack Coleman, "Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline Set For Senate Panel," Washington Examiner, 6/12/14)

Dem Allies: Failure On Keystone Could Negatively Impact Democrats' Chances In November

As Construction Unemployment Remains High, Terry O'Sullivan, President Of The Laborers' International Union Of North America Said His Members Will Vote With That In Mind If Obama Doesn't Act On Keystone. "Terry O'Sullivan, president of the Laborers' International Union of North America who stood beside Mr. McGarvey at their press conference in Washington Tuesday, said his members view Keystone not only as a pipeline but also as a lifeline for good jobs. The construction unemployment rate remains high, he said, and his members who see Keystone as a partial fix will vote with that in mind in November if the administration doesn't act." (Melanie Trottman, "Building Trades Unions Press For Keystone Approval," The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/14)

  • O'Sullivan: "I Look At It Through Our Members' Eyes. And Our Members Are Angry. They're Disillusioned. They're Disappointed. … Keystone Is Certainly One Of Those Issues On Why They Have Those Reactions." "'I look at it through our members' eyes. And our members are angry. They're disillusioned. They're disappointed. … Keystone is certainly one of those issues on why they have those reactions,' O'Sullivan said. 'The State Department is going to keep doing assessments until they get the answer that they seem to be looking for.'" (Kevin Bogardus, "Union Frustration Adds To Dems," The Hill, 3/19/14)

Parts Of The Labor Coalition "Are Fed Up" With Obama Over Keystone Delays And They Are Making It Known That They Are Reluctant To Help Democrats In November. "Parts of the labor coalition are fed up with the White House over ObamaCare and the delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and they are making clear that they are reluctant to help Democrats in their push to save their Senate majority." (Kevin Bogardus, "Union Frustration Adds To Dems," The Hill, 3/19/14)

Sean McGarvey, President Of North America's Building Trades Unions: "I Think The White House Needs To Worry About November." "'I urge the president of the United States to get on with it and approve that permit' to build the pipeline, said Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, an alliance of 14 unions representing workers in the U.S. and Canada. He spoke at a news conference at a Washington hotel during the building trades' legislative conference. 'I think the White House needs to worry about November,' he said when asked what he and other building trades union officials would do if the White House doesn't act soon." (Melanie Trottman, "Building Trades Unions Press For Keystone Approval," The Wall Street Journal, 3/11/14)


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