“This [executive] order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
The President’s policies have failed and are making the economy worse. Because the President cannot stand on his record, he has regrettably turned to the politics of envy and division. House Republicans have a Plan for America’s Job Creators—it’s time for the President and Senate Democrats to stop blocking our bipartisan jobs bills.
A recent Washington Post article highlighted the disastrous economic impact of the Obama administration’s war on carbon-based energy. Reporting on the announced closure of 10 power plants stretching across the Midwest, the article acknowledged, via a press release from GenOn Energy, one of the companies shutting down plants, that the closures are happening “because forecasted returns on investments necessary to comply with environmental regulations are insufficient.”
Yes, this means President Obama’s ideologically-driven Environmental Protection Agency will claim another victory as a result of its overly stringent emissions rules finalized last year. (Lest anyone think GenOn has been blatantly operating with disregard for the environment, a recent company performance report noted: “Since 2000, GenOn has invested approximately $2.4 billion in environmental controls…Compared to 1990 emission levels, 2011 [nitrous oxide] emissions were reduced by 78% and [sulfur dioxide] emissions were reduced by 90%.”)
The only downsides to the plant closures, as mentioned in the article, would appear to be possible reliability concerns for the nation’s electric grid and the increased prices that consumers will pay for electricity.
Interestingly, the article made no mention of the number of jobs that would be lost or the broader economic effect on the communities that have been home to the plants for decades. But at least the reporter was balanced enough to note the environmentally-extreme Sierra Club’s satisfaction with the pending plant closures as a “giant leap in our work to move America beyond coal.”
The WaPo article could almost have functioned as a White House press release, in effect saying: “Yes, consumers will pay more and people will lose jobs, but by regulating coal out of economic use our environmental constituencies will be pleased and failed alternative energy investments for companies with political allies, such as Solyndra, will look more acceptable.”