-By Warner Todd Huston
Barack Obama's avalanche of needless regulations on coal-fueled power plants are going into effect and the net result will be the closing of hundreds of power plants all across the country just when our need for power is increasing. This will absolutely necessitate the cost of our power to skyrocket. But, this is exactly what he wants. He wants to rape us for our power. He said so from the beginning.
Well, now that he's had the opportunity to put into place just some of the new rules and regulations he wants -- and he's only pushed through a tiny bit of what he really wants, indeed -- we are already seeing the results of his attack on us.
Look to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland where six coal-fueled power plants are being shut down by FirstEnergy because the retrofitting the power plants will have to undergo to satisfy Obama's whims is just too expensive to justify.
Company spokesmen say there is no help for it.
"This decision is not in any way a reflection of the fine work done by the employees at the affected plants, but is related to the impact of new environmental rules," said James H. Lash, president, FirstEnergy Generation and chief nuclear officer. "We recently completed a comprehensive review of our coal-fired generating plants and determined that additional investments to implement MATS and other environmental rules would make these older plants even less likely to be dispatched under market rules. As a result, it was necessary to retire the plants rather than continue operations."
Obama is forcing these new regs on the whole industry. Many thousands of jobs will be lost -- this particular shut down will cause the loss of over 500 jobs initially -- and the loss of the generating capacity will force a larger load on other plants necessarily causing costs to go up for all of us.
This isn't just affecting out-of-date plants owned by FirstEnergy, either.
Douglas Gotham, director of the State Utility Forecasting Group, for instance, says that rates hikes are on the way in Indiana, as well, and all because of Obama's onerous new EPA regulations.
"Due to the federal regulatory focus on emissions from coal-fired generators, Indiana is expected to experience larger price increases than projected on a regional or national level."
This is exactly what Obama wanted. Remember in 2007 when he sat down with the San Francisco Chronicle and told us all that he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry and that our rates would "necessarily skyrocket"?
Well, his plans are succeeding. Prices are indeed “skyrocketing.” Worse, jobs are being lost. As Sean Harkbarth of the US Chamber of Commerce notes,
Utility MACT is only part of the assault on coal power plants. Last September, I wrote about how EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution rule cost 500 jobs in Texas. The Chamber's senior vice president of Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs, Bill Kovacs told Congressmen last summer that the "cumulative impact of regulatory action can be overwhelming" and is causing power plants to be taken offline and putting people out of work.
Hackbarth points to testimony of EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus who admitted last April that jobs are not part of their determinations.
So, Obama’s plans really are well on the way to fruition. But it’s just beginning. He very much wants to do far more damage than he has thus far.
(H/T Thurber's Thoughts)