The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

October 6, 2012

READER'S LETTER: President not good for coal industry

CLINTON — Obama’s hostility toward the coal industry started before he became president.

While campaigning in 2008, Obama promised his cap-and-trade energy policy would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket” and he added, “So if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them.” 

Thankfully, cap-and-trade was defeated by Congress.

But following the bill’s defeat, Obama declared, “cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way.  It was a means, not an end.  And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”

As a result of the destructive regulatory agenda that Obama implemented through the EPA, many existing coal-fired generation plants have been forced to shut down, and plans for expansions and new construction have been canceled—even with the new “clean” coal technologies.

When PJM Interconnection (the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states) held its 2015 capacity auction this spring, the market clearing price for new 2015 capacity was $135 per megawatt — 8 times higher than the price for 2012. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.

These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. Of course, these increased costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level and in our personal utility bills. Can you afford to pay for this penalty?

Just look at California — the most bankrupt state in our country. What did industry do when the state implemented such tight energy regulations that they couldn’t afford to compete?

Not only will we be paying extremely high utility bills to keep our lights on, our jobs will vanish as industries move overseas — including to China — the biggest importer of our coal.

Unlike the Left would like you to believe, this election is not about women’s right or government-run programs — it’s about our economy.  If there are no jobs and sky-high consumer prices, we will see the economic collapse of our country.  All citizens, but especially those of us with coal-powered energy, need to express our concern when we vote in November.

Susan Seil,

Clinton

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