Labor Takes a Hit Under Obama’s Anti-Coal Policies

In 2008, President Obama famously said “…if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them…” With Labor Day earlier this week, it’s a reminder of how President Obama’s anti-energy policies have affected employment.

The Daily Caller reports that since President Obama came into office, America has 83,000 fewer coal jobs with the coal mining sector having lost nearly 11,000 jobs in 2015 alone. In addition, The Daily Caller also reports that 400 mines have shuttered during the Obama years.A study from the American Action Forum shows that the number of jobs lost could actually be much higher– estimating that over 180,000 miners have lost their jobs since 2008. While President Obama talks about helping working class families, the reality is that a torrent of regulations from Washington have stifled much needed growth and killed jobs.

These job losses come from regulations of all different shapes and sizes. AAF found that the Clean Power Plan alone could close 66 coal-fired power plants and kill an additional 125,800 jobs. Other disastrous regulations include the Interior Department’s coal moratorium, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Regional Haze regulations, the Stream Buffer Rule, and the lingering Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Combined, all of this red tape leads to huge job losses.

Energy is an important engine of the American economy and still has the potential to power the grid and job growth in the future. Policymakers should realize this and work towards sensible regulation instead of punishing American workers by bankrupting power plants. Hopefully our next President will be serious about economic growth and will roll back some of these policies for a more reasonable approach to energy.

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