Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill
By Phil Kerpen
Obama’s War on Coal has already taken a remarkable toll on coal-fired power plants in America.
Last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a
shocking drop in power sector coal consumption in the first quarter of
2012. Coal-fired power plants are now generating just 36 percent of U.S.
electricity, versus 44.6 percent just one year ago.
It’s the result of an unprecedented regulatory assault on coal that will leave us all much poorer.
Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric
grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland,
Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015
capacity auction. These are the first real, market prices that take
Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove
that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices
The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural
gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price
for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area
covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is
$167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by
FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.
Why the massive price increases? Andy Ott from PJM stated the
obvious: “Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of
retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from
environmental regulations which go into effect in 2015.” Northern Ohio
is suffering from more forced coal-plant retirements than the rest of
the region, hence the even higher price.
These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are
the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new
capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.
House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.)
aptly explained: “The PJM auction forecasts a dim future where Americans
will be paying more to keep the lights on. We are seeing more and more
coal plants fall victim to EPA’s destructive regulatory agenda, and as a
result, we are seeing more job losses and higher electricity prices.”
The only thing that can stop this massive price hike now is an all-out
effort to end Obama’s War on Coal and repeal this destructive regulatory
The Senate will have a critical opportunity to do just that when it
votes on stopping Obama’s most expensive anti-coal regulation sometime
in the next couple of weeks. The vote is on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J.
Res 37, to overturn the so-called Utility MACT rule, which the EPA
itself acknowledges is its most expensive rule ever.
This vote is protected from filibuster, and it will take just 51
votes to send a clear message to Obama that his War on Coal must end.
Of course, Obama could veto the resolution and keep the rule intact,
although that would force him to take full political responsibility for
the massive impending jump in electricity prices.
I have a form set up at http://www.WarOnCoal.com to make it easy to contact your senators on this crucial issue.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment and author of “Democracy Denied.”
Tags: obama, democRATS, coal, electricity, inflation, "liberals", leftists, traitors, liars
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