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Outrageous! War on Coal

While the rest of America is still worried about finding a job, paying for their kids to go to college, making ends meet to pay all the bills every month, Barack Obama is worried about … climate change. Not only is he worried about climate change, but he is so insistent on passing his climate agenda that the effect on your pocketbook apparently means nothing.

Obama's climate speech this week outlined his vision for reducing carbon emissions by imposing new regulations on the coal industry. He wants to do this by – and this shouldn't shock you – executive order. In other words, we would have nameless bureaucrats, not held accountable to the public, writing policy that will effect millions of American jobs and budgets.

I am shocked, quite frankly, of the blatant honesty that came from Daniel Schrag, a member of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. He told the New York Times that this administration need to wage a “war on coal.” He said, “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

A war on coal is exactly what this country doesn't need! More taxes and regulations and mandates translates into few jobs and higher costs. That won't be helpful in an already struggling economy, or even a thriving one. It's just plain dumb. According to the Heritage Foundation, “significantly reducing coal’s share in America’s energy mix would, before 2030, raise natural gas prices by 42 percent.” Does that sound like a smart policy? The fact is that we have enough resources in this country to become energy independent within decades, and we have the ability not to rely on many countries that hate our guts for our oil. Doesn't that sound nice? We have more oil shale in this country than Saudi Arabia. We have enough natural gas resources for more than a lifetime. Do you see the economic boom happening in places like North Dakota? Thanks to a massive energy boom, North Dakota's economy is growing at a rate five times faster than the rest of the nation. That could be our entire nation! But instead, Obama would like to pick and choose the winners in the energy battle, rather than letting market forces and technology lead the way.

But you can't say we weren't warned. Before Obama was elected, he foreshadowed that coal-fired power plants could expect to become bankrupt if his cap-and-trade policies were put in place. He also admitted that energy prices would “sky rocket” under his policies. Yet people voted for him anyway. Twice!

Now, why are we really waging this war on coal? If you read the New York Times piece, it introduces Obama's speech as a way for him to “prepare the nation for a future of rising temperatures.” But unfortunately for Obama and the New York Times, that flies in the face of recent climate trends. As recently as last week the Economist (hardly a bastion of conservative news) had a piece called “A cooling consensus.” It says exactly what you would think it would say: “Global warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted.” But this doesn't stop hysterical members of the lapdog media from carrying the water on Obama's policies. Chris Matthews said that Obama moved the ball on global warming and climate change this week because “cities like Miami are about to turn into Atlantis if we don’t do something about this.” Really?

The fact is that Obama is tackling climate change this week for two main reasons. The first is that he is trying to distract Americans from the scandals surrounding his administration. The other reason is that he is pandering to the environmental movement, which has spent much of his first term pretty upset that Obama hasn't done more on this issue. Make no mistake, the environmental movement isn't really about the environment; It is a political agenda, rooted in the idea that capitalism is evil.