In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said, “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them,” in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the same interview, Obama also warned that under his cap-and-trade plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Keep in mind that his cap-and-trade system is meant to save us from “climate change,” which used to be called “global warming” and “the coming ice age.” This makes perfect sense, Mr. President.
Fast-forward to 2012, and we can see President Obama is making good on these promises he made.
Because of environmental regulations the Obama administration has put into place, approximately 175 coal-powered plants in America are scheduled to phase out and shut down. Not only does that kill jobs during a time when the president is pretending to create them, that is also nearly 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the U.S.
Utility companies and consumers alike are still waiting to see what exactly is going to replace such a substantial loss of electricity production.
Just within the past couple of weeks, 1,200 individuals and families across Central Appalachia got the news they never wanted to hear: that Alpha Natural Resources will be closing eight mines across Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, rendering 1,200 people unemployed.
The chief executive officer of Alpha blamed “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal” for the closings.
Those who live in regions that do not produce coal might not be inclined to think twice about this announcement. However, there are several reasons every American should be very worried about the Obama administration’s war on coal.
First off, coal accounts for nearly half of all electricity production. As the government goes against the free market and pushes out a resource that is cheap, reliable and so abundantly available, the result is going to be increasing utility rates.
Earlier this month, PJM Interconnection, a company that operates electric grids in 13 different states, held its 2015 capacity auction. The market-clearing price for 2015 capacity turned out to be $136 per megawatt. That is eight times higher than the price in 2012, which is just $16 per megawatt. The area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. is a staggering $167 per megawatt.