Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions says the Obama administration’s new carbon emissions caps for power plants will hurt workers as much as the coal industry.
“At a time when we should be focused on helping American workers, making America more competitive in the global economy, and solving our debt crisis, this Administration is focused on restricting American energy sources and driving up prices,” Sessions said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Agency rolled out its proposal to cut carbon emissions from power plants by effectively banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they use unproven carbon capture and storage technology.
“[T]his EPA action will have no real impact on the earth’s temperature — something EPA Administrator McCarthy has even conceded — but will absolutely drive up the cost of electricity for Americans,” Sessions added. “This means lower wages and lost jobs.”
While unions overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama during his last two presidential campaigns, unions that rely on the coal industry have been critical of his policies.
“Critics of coal malign the thousands of boilermakers, mine workers and hard-working men and women who earn an honest living in our region from coal. They insult us — calling us polluters and murderers” writes Raymond Ventrone, business manager for Boilermakers Local 154, in a letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“[I]t appears that they have become so consumed with their narrow effort to kill coal in America that they’ve lost sight of what it will really take to rein in the world’s CO2 emissions,” writes Newton B. Jones, president of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. “Unilaterally shutting down a large percentage of America’s coal-fired systems, as is currently underway due largely to EPA regulations, will have significant collateral cost to many jobs and businesses at essentially no gain in our climate change battle.”
“The climate action plan outlined today by President Obama contains many lofty goals but nothing that speaks to the hardship and suffering his plan would cause to the lives of coal miners, their families and others in the communities where they live,” said United Mine Workers president Cecil E. Roberts.