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BY CLIFF SIMS
President Obama’s executive amnesty plan and the growing threat of the so-called Islamic State in the Middle East are the two issues getting the most attention nationally, and deservedly so. But while the country is focused on those two crises, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its march toward implementing the Obama Administration’s recently proposed environmental regulations.
The regulations will force the State of Alabama to cut power plant carbon emissions by roughly 30 percent by 2030. More than half of all electricity Alabama Power generates in the state comes from coal-fired plants, which critics say are the real target of the proposed regulations. Additionally, more than 16,000 Alabama jobs are dependent upon the coal industry, which has an estimated $1.3 billion economic impact on the state.
A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicts the Obama administration’s environmental mandates will cost the United States more than 220,000 jobs over the next several years.
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COAL IS KEY TO ECONOMIC GROWTH
In Alabama alone, the coal industry is responsible for 16,000 jobs. The 4,000 men and women who are directly employed in Alabama coal mining bring home a total payroll of more than $300 million. It’s an economic engine that brings well over a billion dollars to our state.
THE WAR ON COAL IN ALABAMA
The War on Coal is real. It is being waged in the Halls of Congress, across the airwaves of American media, and right here in Alabama.
Through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), President Obama has proposed and passed regulation after regulation that threatens the very future of coal in America. But he’s not acting alone. He is working alongside groups like the Sierra Club and the AARP, whose radical vision for American energy doesn’t include coal, and with lawmakers who have chosen their environmental friends over common sense energy policy.
FIND OUT WHO’S FIGHTING ALABAMA’S WAR ON COAL.
Shutting down coal means killing high-paying jobs. In Alabama alone, the coal industry is responsible for 16,000 jobs. The 4,000 men and women who are directly employed in Alabama coal mining bring home a total payroll of more than $300 million. It’s an economic engine that brings well over a billion dollars to our state.
Recent EPA regulations have already contributed to the closure of 300 coal-fired power units in 33 states, including a 60-year-old coal plant in Utah. There are more that are not yet implemented.
Raising Power Prices
Less use of coal also means higher power prices. States that rely on coal pay rates a third lower than states that don’t. That means higher prices for working families, small businesses, and large manufacturing operations. It means a less competitive American economy and more high-quality jobs sent overseas.
WHO IS BEHIND THE WAR ON COAL?
From the beginning, President Obama has helped lead the fight against coal in the United States.
"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted."Barack Obama, January 2008
The president has been assisted in this fight by groups such as the Sierra Club, whose Beyond Coal campaign has the express purpose of killing coal jobs.
"With each coal plant that we retire, we are clearing the path for clean, renewable energy that doesn’t make our children sick…"Sierra Club, 3/1/13
Meanwhile, AARP has supported anti-coal measures like carbon taxes and has criticized the United States for its reliance on ‘cheap energy’ like coal.
"…cheap energy - in the form of coal - has brought us increased heart disease, cancer, asthma, learnings disabilities, and neurological disorders in children."Pam Evans, Sustainability Manager for AARP, 10/12/12