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Obama keeps pledge to bankrupt coal industry

Gina McCarthy announces new CO2-reduction rule likely to bankrupt coal-fired power plants
Gina McCarthy announces new CO2-reduction rule likely to bankrupt coal-fired power plants
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a blatant attempt to please the obstreperous environmental groups and keep his campaign pledge to bankrupt the coal industry, Obama's EPA has released a set of capricious mandates for fossil-fueled power plants that will cut jobs, raise electricity rates, and force power plants to close across the country.

In 2008, President Obama campaigned that,“If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them. Under my plan, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” He said this to the liberal San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in seeking their endorsement.

Unwilling to go through Congress, Obama is using the EPA, his personal sock-puppet, to force the closure of hundreds of power plants that don't meet the standards under this new rule. From FoxNews (emphasis added):

The Obama administration took aim at the coal industry on Monday by mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030 -- despite claims the regulation will cost nearly a quarter-million jobs a year and force plants across the country to close.

The controversial regulation is one of the most sweeping efforts to tackle global warming by this or any other administration.

The 645-page rule, expected to be final next year, is a centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda, and a step that the administration hopes will get other countries to act when negotiations on a new international treaty resume next year.

All international treaties must be signed by the president and then approved by two-thirds of the Senate, where it stands little chance of getting passed.

While the plan drew praise from environmental groups, the coal industry was immediately suspect.

Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, said he's "certain that it will be very bad news for states like Kentucky who mine and use coal to create electricity."

Obama is also aware that time is running out on any campaign pledges he made to environmental groups as the new rule requires one year for comments to be submitted. This also provides cover for Democrats running for re-election in coal states who can now go on record denouncing the new rule.

Many of the Democrats who are raising concerns represent coal-producing states and face tough 2014 reelection bids.

Among them is West Virginia Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, whose state gets 96 percent of its power from coal. Rahall said Thursday that he didn't have specific details about the rule but "from everything we know we can be sure of this: It will be bad for jobs."

China, India, and other countries that have lax to no environmental protections will continue to develop economically by utilizing their abundant resources of coal in their own desire to raise the standard of living. Obama is also trivializing the complex 51-year-old Clean Air Act and a vague Supreme Court ruling to bypass the authority of the Congress.

The new rule requires power plants to implement expensive new technology and equipment that simply doesn't exist and could pose an even greater threat to the environment by pumping liquid CO2 underground for storage.

The only thing certain is that, "both sides of the argument appear to agree that the [new rule] will increase electricity prices, considering the United States relies on coal for 40 percent of its electricity."