June 27 2013
Perhaps one can admire that President Obama, at least, doesn’t forget who his friends are. Though average Americans may be a little disappointed to realize that he doesn’t count them among them.
Some environmentalists had expressed frustration that the President hadn’t advanced climate change during his first term. After yesterday’s announcement, they aren’t complaining any more. The new regulations and undisguised attempt to bankrupt coal couldn’t have passed Congress.
Congress knows that neither American families nor American manufacturers can afford higher energy prices. Women have seen the price of groceries and consumer goods rise with energy price fluctuations and know that this is a strain on businesses, limiting their ability to create jobs.
I could talk about how 68 percent of all electricity producers use coal and natural gas, about how these regulations may lead to electrical blackouts as witnessed last year, or about how coal employees 760,000 Americans, whom I am certain would like to keep their jobs.
But I think the biggest tragedy in this proposal is the President’s disregard for the American people—he didn’t campaign on this platform and is ignoring the people’s representatives in Congress—and in the process the Administration is ravaging what makes our nation great: the ability to innovate and compete freely. He is taking money and opportunity from reliable, affordable energy producers and giving it to politically-connected green energy business allies that cannot fulfill our nation’s energy demands.
Do not be fooled: this is not a case of robbing the rich to feed the poor. Green energy producers receive six times the subsidies of fossil fuels. The President is using regulations and the tax code to create big business, not encourage competition.
The President’s politics and rhetoric aside, carbon emissions are on the decline and the planet is warming much, much slower than predicted. Yet the President is capitalizing on a political opportunity to reward his friends, voting base, and campaign contributors, at the expense of the American economy.
As Amy Payne with the Heritage Foundation said yesterday:
Think through your day. Everything you buy, everything you eat, everything you wear… it was all produced using energy. Just a few of the things that will be more expensive under Obama’s plan:
· Heating and cooling your home
· Buying a car and driving—from your work commute to soccer practice and everywhere in between
· Turning on the lights
· Washing and drying clothes
But that’s not all. Think even bigger. What will it mean for President Obama’s war on coal to hike natural gas prices by 42 percent?
Sure, you may have a gas-powered furnace or oven. But natural gas is powering much more, as Heritage’s Loris, David Kreutzer, and Kevin Dayaratna explain:
Natural gas is not only a critical source of electricity generation; natural gas and other gases extracted from natural gas provide a feedstock for fertilizers, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, waste treatment, food processing, fueling industrial boilers, and much more…
Of course, it doesn’t help that you will also have less income. Forthcoming research from these Heritage experts shows that Obama’s anti-coal policies will cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income.
American families looking for work and struggling to make ends meet must be frustrated. Worse they must wonder what’s coming next. If the President can just massively reorganize the energy sector my decree, what can’t he do? Well, there’s one answer: He can’t create a growing economy, but that’s little comfort to struggling Americans.