The facts on the ground make it inescapable that, regardless of one’s intentions, opposing coal means supporting poverty. This applies to the Obama administration, to be sure, which has not only escalated a three-decade-plus war on U.S. coal communities (and the U.S. economy), it has even extended the war to trying to block other countries’ use of the most abundant, affordable, and reliable energy source for liberating people from drudgery.
Just in the past few days we read of Team Obama’s a) pending effort to block (subscription required) World Bank support for a South African coal plant; and b) published notice of a devastating step in West Virginia, clearly what is intended to be only the first of many, which is the first-ever revocation of an already-granted mine permit under the Clean Water Act to shut down a major coal source. As even the New York Times has printed, “The regulatory push has had an impact on West Virginia coal production, which fell more than 11 percent in the past year, the federal Energy Information Agency said.”
And, now, they’ve gone and done it and come out swinging full-force against Appalachia, a region of the country the administration has by coincidence determined is politically hostile (I wonder why). Specifically, they have unleashed the second half of their two-pronged strategy to crack down on Appalachian surface mining for coal in general, and a subset of surface mining — mountaintop removal — in particular. They did this through just-issued new guidance and standards governing Clean Water Act (CWA) section 402 and 404 surface-mining permits.
Remember the Obama administration’s refusal to release water to California farmers, leaving them suffering in the name of a fish (only to agree to a deal releasing some water after two members of Congress agreed to support his health-care takeover)? Bear that cold-blooded ideological putsch in mind when you consider his effort to shut down what are the best-paying jobs in certain areas, devastate communities dependent on mountaintop coal, and of course put us all at risk by recklessly foreclosing 10 percent of the U.S. coal supply. Because the war on Appalachia is in the name of a bug. No one could possibly be that heartless, right? So I can only guess that any excuse will do when seeking to impose a “fundamental transformation.” Life absurdly, even cruelly, imitating art.
With this power grab, the EPA now has the power and the intent to kill the entire coal industry, which supplies half of our electricity, a supply which will not, contrary to the remarkably dangerous assertions of at least two administration officials, be replaced just by plopping some windmills offshore.
So, as you think about the Obama administration’s head-fakes on energy in the run-up to trying to cram through another anti-energy bill, know this: Media slavishness/ignorance notwithstanding, Obama “opened for drilling” not one offshore area; it was all already opened, and he simply imposed an embargo on U.S. resources from the North Atlantic, West Coast, and parts of Alaska.
And his “support for nuclear power,” which his aides touted as “meeting Republicans halfway,” actually only met his own economic assumptions (phonied-up to keep the cost of cap-and-trade rationing down) a mere 2 percent of the way. With the Left hand he offers inchoate support for nuke plants that represent maybe one-fifteenth of the energy his Far Left hand taketh away.
Obama, like his movement, is anti-energy. Period. Which leaves all of them pro-poverty. Read this book, watch this movie, and you will be left with no doubt. There’s a “fundamental transformation” at hand, in their minds, and they’re not letting anything like you, your family, or your safety stand in their way.
I was holding off as protocol requires, but here’s a heads up: I lay these particular steps and this entire, reprehensible agenda low in a book coming out two weeks from today. There really is no room for bystanders on this one. Get engaged or get used to the fact that you’ve lost your freedoms.
– Chris Horner is author of the best-selling Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism), Red Hot Lies, and a new book on Obama’s power grab that will be released by Regnery this month.