Tags: coal | jobs | lost | Kentucky | dropping | EPA | regulation

Report: Coal, Power Plant Job Losses Mount Under Obama

By    |   Tuesday, 10 February 2015 09:28 PM

On the campaign trail seven years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama candidly explained that the coal industry would probably not fare well if he were elected president.

"If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them," Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in January 2008. "Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Although President Obama failed to persuade Congress to enact such environmental regulations into law, his EPA has moved to administratively implement this agenda —  and at a staggering high cost, according to a new study.

According to that study by the American Action Forum, tens of thousands of coal miners and power-plant employees have lost their jobs since 2008, the Daily Caller reported.

AAF, an organization headed by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, contends that overregulation by the EPA and other agencies has piled billions of dollars in new clean and water regulations on the industry.

According to AAF, every $1 billion in regulatory costs results in a loss of about 8,100 jobs.

"Nowhere is this phenomenon more stark than in fossil-fueled power plants and coal mining, " according to AAF Director of Regulatory Policy Sam Batkins. "Regulators have added more than $10 billion in burdens on this industry since 2011, with the promise of at least $10 billion more in the immediate future. Not surprisingly, states and the industries as a whole have suffered tremendously."

According to AAF, the total number of coal-mining jobs in the United States went from about 81,000 in 2008 to slightly over 77,000 in 2013, a 4.5 percent reduction. Total power-plant jobs in the United States fell sharply during this period, going from 137,000 in 2008 to 97,000 in 2013, a 28.8 percent reduction.

AAF also examines state-by-state figures from 2008 to 2013, which show, for example, that Kentucky lost 5,188 coal-mining jobs, a 30.7 percent reduction. Power-plant job losses hit Kentucky, which lost 644 (37.4 percent) of its power-plant jobs; as well as West Virginia, which lost 1,316 (32.9 percent) of its jobs; Ohio, which lost 1,088 (21.8 percent); and Pennsylvania, which dropped 729 jobs (16.8 percent).

The Department of Energy announced last week that it has ended its support for a $1.1 billion "clean coal" power plant project in Illinois. The plant, first proposed by President George W. Bush in 2003, had been plagued by cost overruns since its inception.

Under Obama, the EPA proposed regulations "that effectively would ban construction of coal-fired electricity-generating units," according to Heritage Foundation analyst Nicolas Loris.

To meet EPA standards, the plants would be required to install the carbon capture and sequestration technology that helped drive the Illinois facility "into the financial ditch," Loris wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Times.

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On the campaign trail seven years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama candidly explained that the coal industry would probably not fare well if he were elected president. If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them, ...
coal, jobs, lost, Kentucky, dropping, EPA, regulation, power plants
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2015-28-10
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 09:28 PM
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