We all know where President Obama and his friends like Senator Sherrod Brown stand on coal. If they could flip a switch tomorrow, they would stop coal production in the United States and all the energy & jobs that come with it.
“…the Senate held a vote on a resolution that would have overturned Utility MACT. S.J. Resolution 37 failed by four votes. Sherrod Brown once again stood with Barack Obama and his extreme ideology, and sent a message to Ohioans that coal jobs and affordable energy just aren’t as important as towing the line for Barack Obama.”
That attitude doesn’t sit well with many Ohioans, particularly those who live in our state’s Appalachian regions. In 2012, Obama lost all but one county in Southeast Ohio, with Brown faring only slightly better. In short, those in coal country understand exactly the damage that is being done by liberal EPA regulations like Utility MACT and now, the New Source Performance Standard.
The latter has sparked the recent attention of our neighbor to the south, Kentucky Governor (and Democrat) Steve Beshear:
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Steve Beshear is calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rethink proposed greenhouse gas regulations that he said would effectively ban new coal-fired power plants.
Beshear made the request in a letter to the EPA last week.
The Kentucky Democrat asked the EPA to drop the proposal that would require coal-fired power plants to meet the same emission standards as those that use natural gas or oil.
In the letter, Beshear asked the EPA to consider an alternate approach that would allow the continued use of coal. He said the ability to grow the economy depends on affordable and reliable supplies of electricity.
Kentucky is a major coal producer and is home to several coal-fired power plants.
That last sentence holds true for Ohio as well. 4 out of every 5 Ohioans rely on coal for their energy. We need to protect this resource and all the benefits it brings. That’s something Gov. Beshear recognized when he lent his voice to the growing list of leaders calling on the EPA to abandon this potentially job-killing policy.
To date, Governors throughout the U.S., both Republicans and Democrats, have formally asked President Obama to back off the NSPS, including leaders from four of Ohio’s neighboring states. And while Ohio is not on that list, Governor Kasich is there philosophically:
“We are going to continue to work on cleaning coal, but I want to tell you, we are going to dig it, we are going to clean it, and we are going to burn it in Ohio, and we are not going to apologize for it,” [Kasich] said during wide-ranging remarks… [at a recent energy conference].
It’s clear that Governor Kasich stands with coal and all the jobs associated with it. And while Capitol Square is buzzing with all kinds of issues these days, keeping Ohio’s coal industry up and running should remain at the forefront. It is my hope that Kasich and others throughout the U.S. will lend their signatures to the growing coalition of leaders in opposition to the NSPS, and in support of coal energy.
If Obama and Brown are bent on continuing to kill coal jobs, our only defense will be those state leaders willing to fight back.