The War on Affordable Energy Claims More Victims


Today, OhioAmerican Energy Inc. announced the closure of a mine near Brilliant, Ohio. According to OhioAmerican, “Regulatory actions by President Barack Obama and his appointees and followers” were “the entire reason” for the closure. This should come as no surprise to anyone. This is exactly what President Obama promised.

Four years ago, President Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that if people wanted to they could “build a coal-powered plant . . . 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.”

After the last election, President Obama acknowledged his first plan to regulate carbon dioxide was dead. But unfortunately, he didn’t pull back from his attack on coal. Instead, he doubled down and shifted the attack to EPA. EPA has moved to regulate carbon dioxide, they have introduced the Utility MACT rule, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, proposed new ozone regulations, stream buffer guidance, conductivity “guidance” and additional regulations designed to increase the cost of using producing and using coal.

The result of the administration’s policies are closures of coal-fired power plants and coal mines. The Energy Information Administration reports that 27 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity is set to close over the next five years, including a record closure of 9 gigawatts this year alone. But even this may be an underestimate. If we look at EPA’s modeling and combine it with actual announcements from electrical generators, nearly 35 gigawatts of generating capacity is set to close because of the Obama administration’s regulations.

The OhioAmerican mine is not the first coal mine to close because of the attack on affordable energy. In June, Arch Coal announced that it was laying off 750 coal miners.

Coal reliably produces inexpensive electricity and the United States has the largest coal reserves in the world but those resources will only benefit the United States if we can access them.

It is no accident that coal mines are closing in the U.S. This is the outcome of policies designed to make it more expensive to produce and use coal. It’s time the Obama adminsitration ends its war on affordable energy before more hard-working Americans lose their jobs.

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