Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions is looking into the EPA's latest regulations regarding the use of coal in the United States. Prior to Obama becoming president, before a new regulation could take effect, there had to be a cost benefit analysis. That's a policy Obama has done away with. The latest regulation will cost companies billions of dollars to enact but even the director of the EPA,Gina McCarthy has admitted it will have no impact on global warming.
The new regulations require that a new plant could emit no more than 1100 pounds of CO2 for every megawatt hour of electricity produced. That would require a carbon capture and sequestation system. Unfortunately, they have never been tested to see if they actually work and how safe they might be. It should be noted that systems that have been operating since 2008, show no dangerous signs, but the cost is so high that it isn't worth the effort.
Sen Sessions says that the new regulations will put coal miners and associated jobs in grave danger. So far this year, 151 mines have been shut down and the James River Coal company have announced they will be closing several mines in Eastern Kentucky and will lay off 525 employees. Prior to that announcement, Eastern Kentucky had already lost 42% of their coal jobs.
The UMW (United Mine Workers) have always supported democrats but in 2012, they refused to endorse Obama for reelection nor did they contribute money to his campaign.
Newton B. Jones, president of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers wrote, “[I]t appears that they have become so consumed with their narrow effort to kill coal in America that they’ve lost sight of what it will really take to rein in the world’s CO2 emissions.”
“Unilaterally shutting down a large percentage of America’s coal-fired systems, as is currently underway due largely to EPA regulations, will have significant collateral cost to many jobs and businesses at essentially no gain in our climate change battle.”
UMW president, Cecil E. Roberts points out, “The climate action plan outlined today by President Obama contains many lofty goals but nothing that speaks to the hardship and suffering his plan would cause to the lives of coal miners, their families and others in the communities where they live.”
And as Sen. Session points out, despite the fact that as Gina McCarthy testified, there is no gain by this actio, but could raise electricity prices by 50%.