Obama Administration American Energy Roadblocks Part 3: War on Coal
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 25, 2012 -

During President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he declared one of his energy goals was to “bankrupt” the coal industry by making electricity prices “skyrocket.” That policy statement kick-started the President’s continuing war on coal miners, their families and the millions of Americans who rely on affordable coal-fired electricity. The harmful effects of President Obama’s war on coal are starting to hit families in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as an estimated 175 coal fired power plants are scheduled to close from 2012 to 2016. Regulations imposed by President Obama will put thousands of hard working coal miners out of work and cause 27 million family homes to switch to more expensive energy when they can least afford it. There is no question President Obama’s war on coal is a war on American families who have struggled to get through the last four years.

  • Within days of taking office, the Obama Administration threw out the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone coal regulation that had undergone five years of environmental analysis and public review and began hasty and unorthodox work on a new regulation that would cost 7,000 jobs, cause economic harm in 22 states and dramatically reduce American coal production.

    • Shortly after this information was made public, the Obama Administration criticized and dismissed the contractor it had selected to conduct this analysis.

    • The Obama Administration has already spent $7.7 million taxpayer dollars conducting this rewrite and is poised to spend even more if it continues with this mismanaged rulemaking.

  • President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered the cancellation of a permit for a Navajo Nation power plant that Navajo leadership called the most important development project the tribe has ever undertaken.

    • The Desert Rock power plant was expected to create 400 permanent jobs and generate $50 million per year in revenue.

  • The EPA is also considering new mandates on the Navajo Generating Station (NGS).

    • The proposals could shut down the plant, which has the generating capacity of two small nuclear plants. Closure would eliminate hundreds of Navajo and Hopi coal-mining and NGS jobs, reduce income into the reservations, undermine tribal water settlements and dramatically increase water costs for much of Arizona’s population.

  • In an unprecedented move, the Obama Administration’s EPA retroactively revoked a previously issued coal permit that would create hundreds of jobs in Appalachia.

    • A Federal Court recently ruled that the EPA "exceeded its authority" under the Clean Water Act to revoke the already issued Spruce Mine No. 1 coal permit and that such an action required "magical thinking."

    • The permit was declared “valid and in full force” but the Obama Administration is challenging the ruling, again trying to destroy coal mining jobs.

  • To learn more about how the Obama Administration has blocked, delayed and hindered American energy production, visit http://naturalresources.house.gov/roadblocks

    Click here to read Obama Administration American Energy Roadblocks Part 1: Offshore Drilling.

    Click here to read Obama Administration American Energy Roadblocks Part 2: Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands.


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    Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019