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War On Coal Friendly Fire

- June 26, 2013

Obama's Renewed War On Coal Puts Vulnerable Democrats Across The Nation In A Bind

OBAMA UNVEILED HIS LATEST JOB-KILLING REGULATIONS IN HIS ONGOING WAR ON COAL

Yesterday, Obama Proposed New Job-Killing Regulations On New And Existing Power Plants. " President Barack Obama launched a new plan to tackle climate change on Tuesday with a call to limit carbon pollution from all U.S. power plants and a signal that he would block a proposed pipeline from Canada if it boosted greenhouse gas emissions. Obama's long-awaited plan, detailed in a speech at Georgetown University, drew sharp criticism from the coal industry, which would be hit hard by carbon limits, and Republicans, who accused the Democratic president of advancing policies that harm the economy." (Jeff Mason And Roberta Rampton, "Obama Takes On Power Plants, Keystone As Part Of Climate Plan," Reuters, 6/25/13)

A Study By The American Action Forum Found That Obama's Climate Plan "Will Affect More Than 37,000 Employees And Regulate A Variety Of Industries." "Today, President Obama will call for greenhouse gas (GHG) limits on existing stationary sources. Examining the largest sources in the U.S., the American Action Forum (AAF) estimates such a proposal will affect more than 37,000 employees and regulate a variety of industries." (" Implications Of Regulating Existing Greenhouse Gas Sources ," American Action Forum 6/24/13)

  • AAF Study: "With More Than 37,000 Employees At These Facilities Across The Nation, A Significant Regulatory Action Could Result In Displaced Workers." "With more than 37,000 employees at these facilities across the nation, a significant regulatory action could result in displaced workers. Since it is unlikely EPA would promulgate a rule that shuts down a major refinery or steel mill, coal plants are once again under the regulatory microscope." (" Implications Of Regulating Existing Greenhouse Gas Sources ," American Action Forum 6/24/13)

Obama's New Regulations On Existing Power Plants Will "Raise Consumers' Electricity Prices." "But the move to impose greenhouse gas limits on existing plants - which account for a third of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of its carbon emissions - will raise consumers' electricity prices in the short term as utilities are forced to shutter aging coal plants to comply with stricter pollution limits." (Juliet Eilperin, "Obama To Take Sweeping Action On Climate," The Washington Post , 6/22/13)

Even Obama's Own Adviser Is Calling The New Plan Part Of A Needed "War On Coal"

Harvard University's Daniel P. Schrag, One Of Obama's Advisers On Climate Change, Said "A War On Coal Is Exactly What's Needed." "Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist who is the head of Harvard University's Center for the Environment and a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change, said he hoped the presidential speech would mark a turning point in the national debate on climate change. 'Everybody is waiting for action,' he said. 'The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they're having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what's needed.'" (John M Broder, "Obama To Outline Ambitious Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gases,"The New York Times, 6/25/13)

  • Schrag: "The One Thing The President Really Needs To Do Now Is To Being The Process Of Shutting Down The Conventional Coal Plants." (John M Broder, "Obama To Outline Ambitious Plan To Cut Greenhouse Gases,"The New York Times, 6/25/13)

OBAMA'S NEW CLIMATE PLAN PLACES COAL-COUNTRY AND VULNERABLE DEMOCRATS IN A BIND

Some Democrats Are Already Concerned About Obama's Proposed Regulations

Democrats In "Energy-Rich States Could Make Themselves Politically Vulnerable" By Supporting Obama's Climate Plan. "Beyond the hurdle posed by Republican opposition, Democrats in GOP-leaning, energy-rich states could make themselves politically vulnerable by supporting a legislative push, or even by voicing unqualified support for the president's new plan." (Jennifer Epstein, "Obama Urges Action On Climate," Politico, 6/25/13)

"Some Democrats, Including Those Hawkish About Climate Action, Also Worry That Tough New Standards On Power Plants Could Slow Job Growth And Raise Energy Costs…" "Some Democrats, including those hawkish about climate action, also worry that tough new standards on power plants could slow job growth and raise energy costs, particularly in places like the industrial Midwest that depend on cheap power from coal. But administration officials signaled that Mr. Obama had decided the risks from climate change outweighed the potential economic and political costs from taking steps to address it." (John M. Broder, "Obama Readying Emissions Limits On Power Plants," The New York Times , 6/19/13)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Blasted Obama's Regulations As Unfairly Targeting 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,' Manchin said in a statement." (Justin Sink, "Manchin: Obama Declared 'War On Coal'," The Hill, 6/25/13)

  • Manchin, On Obama's Climate Plan: "It Is Just So Irresponsible. … They're Declaring War Truly On Jobs, On American Jobs." MANCHIN: "It is just so irresponsible. We're looking for an all-in energy policy that basically secures our nation, makes us less dependent on foreign oil or foreign energy. And we can do that, but we've got to use everything we have, in balance with the environment and economy. That's all we ever said. … They're declaring war truly on jobs, on American jobs." (Fox News' " Special Report," 6/25/13)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), On Obama's Climate Plan: "Several Of The Initiatives … Amplify The Administration's Continuing War On Coal And Coal-Fired Power." HEITKAMP: "However, several of the initiatives introduced today by the President, while not new, amplify the Administration's continuing war on coal and coal-fired power. While the President claims to believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy, he consistently fails to step-forward and truly commit to such a policy." (Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, "Heitkamp Reaction To President Remarks On Climate Change," Press Release, 6/25/13)

  • Heitkamp: "The Administration Continues Developing Regulations That Do Nothing More Than Choke Off Good-Paying American Jobs…" HEITKAMP: "Instead the Administration continues developing regulations that do nothing more than choke off good-paying American jobs, and threatening millions of Americans with the loss of a reliable and affordable energy source." (Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, "Heitkamp Reaction To President Remarks On Climate Change," Press Release, 6/25/13)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): "I'm Deeply Concerned That, In Its Current Form, There's Not Enough Emphasis In The President's Plan On The People Who Are The Backbone Of Our Economy And The Fabric Of Our Nation." ROCKEFELLER: "I'm deeply concerned that, in its current form, there's not enough emphasis in the President's plan on the people who are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our nation. And, any roadmap to deal with our future energy needs must include the promise of clean coal. Our demand for energy can't be met without it." (Sen. Jay Rockefeller, "Rockefeller Releases Statement On President's Climate Change Speech," Press Release, 6/25/13)

But Other Democrats Facing Elections In 2013 And 2014 Will Have To Run From Their Past Support For Job-Killing Regulations

Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe (D-VA)

In 2009, Terry McAuliffe Attacked Coal, Saying "We Have Got To Move Past Coal. As Governor, I Never Want Another Coal Plant Built." (Terry McAuliffe, Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Debate, Blacksburg, VA, 4/29/09)

The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 45,210 Jobs In Virginia. (Coal In Virginia, National Mining Association)

Coal Jobs Contributed $3.4 Billion In Wages To Virginia Workers In 2011. (Coal In Virginia, National Mining Association)

  • Annual Average Wage In The Coal Industry In Southwest Virginia Is More Than Twice The Average For All Industries. "[T]he coal industry paid an annual average wage of $84,978 in the region compared to the $34,757 for all industries in 2010 (the latest full year of data). Consequently, the coal industry directly accounted for 12.8% of total wages and salaries in Southwest Virginia." ("The Economic Impact Of The Coal Industry In Virginia," Chmura Economics & Analytics, 1/18/12)

Coal Exports Contributed $2.5 Billion To Virginia's Economy In 2011. ("U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions," Ernst & Young, 5/13, Table 6)

  • The Coal Industry Produced 18.7% Of The Total Economic Output In Southwest Virginia In 2010. "Based on direct, indirect, and induced impacts, the coal industry produced 18.7% of the total economic output in Southwest Virginia and supported 8.9% of the regional employment in 2010." ("The Economic Impact Of The Coal Industry In Virginia," Chmura Economics & Analytics, 1/18/12)

Coal-Fired Power Plants Produced 1,066,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity In Virginia In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly, April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.7.A. Net Generation From Coal)

  • Coal Accounted For 20% Of The 5,199,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In Virginia In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly: April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.6.A. Net Generation)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

Begich Enabled Obama's New Regulations By Voting Against Stripping The EPA Of Its Authority To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (S.Amdt. 183 to S.493, Roll Call #54, Rejected 50-50: R 46-1; D 49-4, 4/6/11, Begich Voted Nay)

Begich Voted In Favor Of Establishing A Carbon Tax. "Whitehouse, D-R.I., amendment no. 646 that would establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would provide for a fee on carbon pollution and use revenues collected to reduce the deficit." (S. Con. Res. 8, CQ Vote #58: Rejected 41-58: R 0-45; D 39-13; I 2-0, 3/22/13, Begich Voted Yea)

A Carbon Tax Could Cost Up To 21,000 Jobs In Alaska. "This tax would deal a blow to employment in Alaska, with a loss of worker income equivalent to 7,000 to 21,000 jobs in 2013 and 9,000 to 12,000 by 2013." (National Association Of Manufacturers, "Adverse Economic Impacts Of A Carbon Tax In Alaska," www.nam.org, Accessed 4/16/13)

A Carbon Tax Could Increase The Price Of Gas In Alaska By More Than 20 Cents Per Gallon. "Prices at the pump would jump by more than 20 cents a gallon in 2013." (National Association Of Manufacturers, "Adverse Economic Impacts Of A Carbon Tax In Alaska," www.nam.org, Accessed 4/16/13)

  • A Carbon Tax Could Increase The Cost Of Electricity For Alaskans By 12 Percent. "Households in Alaska would see a significant increase in their electrify rates, with an average increase of 12 percent in 2013." (National Association Of Manufacturers, "Adverse Economic Impacts Of A Carbon Tax In Alaska," www.nam.org, Accessed 4/16/13)
  • A Carbon Tax Could Increase The Cost Of Natural Gas By More Than 40 Percent. "The cost of using natural gas would increase by more than 40 percent in 2013, the first year of the carbon tax study, adding to household energy bills and increasing operation costs for many Alaska businesses." (National Association Of Manufacturers, "Adverse Economic Impacts Of A Carbon Tax In Alaska," www.nam.org, Accessed 4/16/13)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Hagan Enabled Obama's New Regulations By Voting Against Stripping The EPA Of Its Authority To Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (S.Amdt. 183 to S.493, Roll Call #54, Rejected 50-50: R 46-1; D 49-4, 4/6/11, Hagan Voted Nay)

During The 2008 Campaign, Hagan's Spokeswoman Said She Would Have Supported The Climate Security Act, A Bill That "At Its Heart . . . Is A Basic Cap-And-Trade System." "The bill, known as the Climate Security Act, includes provisions for a variety of special interests, from job-training funds for renewable energy workers to funding for green buildings. At its heart, though, the bill is a basic cap-and-trade system for energy companies that emit greenhouse gases… state Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro, supports the bill, which her spokeswoman said fit Hagan's energy plan offered this spring." (Barbara Barrett, "Climate Bill Has Unlikely Ally," Charlotte Observer, 6/6/08)

  • According To The EPA, The Bill Would Have Cut GDP By $1 To $2.8 Trillion By 2050. "Under S.2191, GDP is modeled to be between 0.9% ($238 billion) and 3.8% ($983 billion) lower in 2030 and between 2.4% ($1,012 billion) and 6.9% ($2,856 billion) lower in 2050 than in the Reference Scenario. ("EPA Analysis Of The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Of 2008," Environmental Protection Agency, 3/14/08)
  • Electricity Prices Would Have Spiked 44% By 2030 And 26% By 2050. "Electricity prices are projected to increase 44% in 2030 and 26% in 2050, assuming the cost of allowances can partially be passed on to consumers (as is the case in a full auction). ("EPA Analysis Of The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Of 2008," Environmental Protection Agency, 3/14/08)

The Coal Industry Directly And Indirectly Supports 1,510 Jobs In North Carolina. ("U.S. Coal Exports: National And State Economic Contributions," Ernst & Young, 5/13, Table 4)

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Pryor Voted In Favor Of Establishing A Carbon Cap-And-Trade System. (S.Amdt. 4825 To S. 3036, Roll Call #145, Rejected 48-36: R 6-32; D 42-4; 6/6/08, Pryor Voted Yea)

  • According To The EPA, The 2008 Bill Would Have Cut GDP By $1 To $2.8 Trillion By 2050. "Under S.2191, GDP is modeled to be between 0.9% ($238 billion) and 3.8% ($983 billion) lower in 2030 and between 2.4% ($1,012 billion) and 6.9% ($2,856 billion) lower in 2050 than in the Reference Scenario. ("EPA Analysis Of The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Of 2008," Environmental Protection Agency, 3/14/08)
  • Electricity Prices Would Have Spiked 44% By 2030 And 26% By 2050. "Electricity prices are projected to increase 44% in 2030 and 26% in 2050, assuming the cost of allowances can partially be passed on to consumers (as is the case in a full auction). ("EPA Analysis Of The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Of 2008," Environmental Protection Agency, 3/14/08)

Coal-Fired Power Plants Generated 2,331,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity In Arkansas In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly, April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.7.A. Net Generation From Coal)

  • Coal Accounted For 68% Of The 3,442,000 Mega Watt Hours Of Electricity Generated In Arkansas In April Of 2013. (Electric Power Monthly, April 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 6/21/13, Table 1.7.A. Net Generation From Coal)

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