The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

EPA’s train wreck could leave many in the dark

Photo of Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell
Former Ohio Secretary of State

During a recent speech at Cleveland State University focused on small business in Ohio, President Obama described a goal of “knocking down barriers that stand in the way of your growth.” Unfortunately, his EPA couldn’t be more in the dark about how to translate that message into practice — with the agency poised to adopt more than 30 new, major regulations and over 170 major policy rules in the next several months.

Even with 14 million Americans out of work and an economy still searching for light at the end of the tunnel, the EPA is poised to enact a series of back-door mandates that will stifle economic growth. And with the speed that this runaway train is traveling, people in states like Ohio should be scared of the “train wreck” headed towards a town near you.

Unfortunately, everyday Americans may not realize the impact of the EPA’s “train wreck” of new regulations on jobs, the economy and the price of essential energy until it’s too late. The truth is, even the EPA itself doesn’t quite know what these regulations might cost to implement — although various outside analysts seem to agree that, at minimum, the 10 major rules that the EPA issued in 2010 could cost the economy at least $23 billion and nearly one million jobs.

No one can say for sure how my home state, Ohio, will be impacted; we do know that Ohioans will not fare well. That’s because coal generates close to 90 percent of net electricity in Ohio and energy consumption in the state’s industrial sector ranks among the highest in the nation. Put another way, the EPA’s “train wreck” will destroy Ohio’s main electricity source.

According to analysts, this assault on Ohio’s coal-burning power plants transfers directly into at least 10 plant shutdowns and over 1,000 job losses. According to a report from the United Mine Workers of America, national job losses associated with the closure of EPA-targeted coal units could be significant, amounting to more than 50,000 jobs in the coal, utility and rail industries. With Ohio’s unemployment rate still above 9 percent, the EPA “train wreck” would clearly be a major blow to my state.

But the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. and the environmental groups’ intent on stopping the use of coal in America aren’t worried about these good-paying, blue-collar jobs in Ohio. Unfortunately for us, they consider the EPA’s “train wreck” to be an effective means to an end. An end to coal for sure.

But with America being known as the Saudi Arabia of coal, it’s clear that our nation — and especially Ohio — will need to continue relying on our extraordinary domestic reserves of coal as a source of low-cost electricity capable of stimulating and sustaining long-term recovery. So with industry analysts estimating that 22 percent of existing U.S. coal-fired power plants could be shut down, with about 75 gigawatts lost (read: enough electricity to power 56.3 million homes), it is understandable why there is a mounting fear about when this wreck will be coming around the bend.

Unfortunately for the Buckeye State, the EPA has shown that it will blindly push ahead its agenda without regard for potential job losses, electric reliability issues or increased costs for everyday Americans. While there is still time for Congress to limit EPA authority and to thwart this imminent wreck, the bad news is that the train has already left the station and has shown no sign of stopping since this rulemaking process began years ago.

Ohioans can only hope that their state and federal government officials can help spread the word nationally about the repercussions of the EPA “train wreck” in time to successfully stop this runaway train. If not, there will be a price to pay, it will be significant, and it will be borne by the working families of Ohio and other impacted states.

Ken Blackwell, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and is a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council.

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  • kingfish

    The EPA “is” a train wreck. Obama has been using it to implement “global warming” Cap & Trade without a vote in Congress, despite the fact that numerous studies were EXPOSED as lies. As a result coal plants were refused renewal license and license for new clean coal plants were denied by EPA. Coal supplies 50% of America’s energy. The result was electricity outages in TX, even to hospitals.

    Now Obama is funding new “global warming” energy projects in Pakistan, Haiti, and other foreign countries to the tune of $800 billion, AGAIN without Congressional approval. The question is: WHY IS CONGRESS ALLOWING OBAMA TO SPEND FUNDS THIS WAY?
    THESE FUNDS SHOULD BE CUT OFF, PERIOD! NO WONDER THE U.S. IS BROKE.

  • kingfish

    Is there some reason it takes Mr. Blackwell almost a DAY to “moderate” comments?

  • kingfish

    U.S. SPENDS LAVISHLY ON FOREIGN ENERGY PROJECTS
    Investment banker-turned-bureaucrat oversees billion-dollar program

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=289757

    This article will incense you. U.S. TAXPAYERS are paying $1 BILLION for U.N. “clean energy” projects for Pakistan, Haiti, Afghanistan through the USAID office, while our own infrastructure crumbles.

    UNBELIEVABLY the last paragraph states, “Dependence on imported fuels leaves many countries and communities vulnerable to price volatility and disruptions in supply, resulting in dangerous social, economic, and political consequences.”
    JUST WHAT DO THEY THINK IS HAPPENING IN THE U.S.???

    Congress needs to find out THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF MONEY BEING DIVERTED FROM THE U.S. AND BEING SPENT EVERY DAY ON U.N. PROJECTS FOR THE NWO.

  • kingfish

    The EPA “is” a train wreck. Obama has been using it to implement “global warming” Cap & Trade without a vote in Congress, despite the fact that numerous studies were EXPOSED as lies. As a result coal plants were refused renewal license and license for new clean coal plants were denied by EPA. Coal supplies 50% of America’s energy. The result was electricity outages in TX, even to hospitals.

    Now Obama is funding new “global warming” energy projects in Pakistan, Haiti, and other foreign countries to the tune of $800 billion, AGAIN without Congressional approval. The question is: WHY IS CONGRESS ALLOWING OBAMA TO SPEND FUNDS THIS WAY?
    THESE FUNDS SHOULD BE CUT OFF, PERIOD! NO WONDER THE U.S. IS BROKE.

  • polistra

    EPA is not pressing ahead “blindly” or “without regard to jobs.”

    EPA knows precisely what it’s doing.

    Since 1989 EPA has been diligently working toward one single goal:
    DEATH TO AMERICA!

  • empiresentry

    My Ohio electric bill last month was $41 for actual electric consumption and $62 for fees and taxes. We weren’t even home. Our water, sewer and trash pickup come on separate bills. I work for EPA in DC. Under the Clean Air Act, we used to have to justify the cost, the impact and the achievable, measurable goals or else the action cannot be put into place. Now it has been changed to whatever the concensus (fad or flavor of the month) happens to be. Raising the prices will not change consumption, Mr. Obama. It will mean that people will die in the cold and the heat. Instead, stop spending the Superfund money you are collecting from gas pumps and actually use it for Superfund and clean up real dangers that are actually measurable in a lab. To all my Ohio and WV union friends: sorry but you got what you voted for: a pro union boss but no job. Better start applying for one of the thousands of green jobs!

    • NeoKong

      You gotta’ love that.
      My gas bill does the same thing.
      They charge $100 for the gas and then there is a connection fee and a delivery charge as if they had to deliver the gas on the back of a truck and carry it into your basement on a two wheeler and install it.
      The next thing you know they will be charging us to remove the old unused gas too.