House Approves Bill to Stop Obama's "War on Coal"

By:  Raven Clabough
03/10/2014
       
House Approves Bill to Stop Obama's "War on Coal"

The House of Representatives has approved a bill to block President Obama’s climate plan that aimed at regulating so-called carbon pollution from new power plants. The bill passed by a vote of 229 to 183, with 10 Democrats voting with Republicans and three Republicans opposed.

ABC News explains,

The bill targets Obama’s proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency to set the first national limits on heat-trapping carbon pollution from future power plants. It’s part of the GOP’s election-year strategy to fight back against what Republicans call a "war on coal" by the Obama administration.

President Obama has made no secret of his war on coal. During his 2008 campaign, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them."

Later during that same interview, Obama admitted that "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" under his plan for cap and trade.

The Obama administration’s treatment of coal has been heavily criticized as being destructive to the coal industry. In September 2013, US News had this to say about the president's EPA rules that set out to dramatically limit emissions:

While [EPA Administrator Gina] McCarthy claims the administration’s new rules "provide certainty" to the coal industry, the only "certainty" of their renewed war on coal is that thousands of jobs will be lost and Democrats running for the House and Senate in key states across the country will be further put on the defensive.

Coal is vital to electrical production in the United States, responsible for approximately half the electrical generation in the last 10 years.

The new bill (sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield [R-Ky.]) which would put a stop to Obama's proposed rules, requires that the EPA set carbon emissions standards based on technology in use for at least a full year. Those opposed to the EPA’s rule assert that it is based on carbon-capturing technology that is not currently in existence and is therefore an unfair standard to set.

"The Obama administration clearly wants to use its regulatory agenda to end coal-fired power generation in this country, but that is a pipe dream," declared Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).

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