More than 3,500 coal supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol Building to protest what they see as the Obama administration’s war on coal on Tuesday.
“The figure that really matters is the number of innocent people caught up in the Obama administration’s war on coal,” Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr said in a passionate speech against Obama’s coal policies.
Members of Congress, union members, miners and their families stormed Capitol Hill to air their grievances about President Barack Obama’s policies that target the coal industry and make it harder to burn or mine coal.
“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it is fundamentally wrong, it is fundamentally immoral, it is downright outrageous that the federal government would put the American, hardworking family in economic distress,” Barr proclaimed.
Last month, the EPA proposed carbon dioxide emissions caps for new power plants — a key feature of Obama’s climate agenda. The EPA’s carbon caps effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they utilize unproven carbon capture and sequestration technology.
“Small businesses have no customers, county governments have no tax revenues to invest in schools or infrastructure,” Barr said. “The unemployment in some counties is in double digits, including in my district in central eastern Kentucky.”
“The outcomes are the result of an artificial crisis — an economic downturn engineered in the West Wing and enforced by the EPA. Unelected, unaccountable Washington bureaucrats have decreed that this way of life, the symbol of Appalachia, must now come to an end, regardless of the consequences on the lives of their fellow Americans,” the congressman added.
Obama has argued that the U.S. needs to be a world leader in tackling global warming, saying that doing nothing would mean deteriorating environment for future generations — despite 15 years or so without global temperature rises.
“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” Obama said in June. “And that’s why, today, I’m announcing a new national climate action plan, and I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the United States of America a leader — a global leader — in the fight against climate change.”
“I have a message for President Obama: Come to eastern Kentucky,” Barr said. “Visit Appalachia’s coal fields, speak with these coal miners and their families who have been issued pink slips because of your environmentalist agenda, and then ask yourself — look yourself in the mirror, Mr. President, ‘Is this the kind of hardship I want to inflict on the American people?’”
According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, more than 300 coal-fired generators have already been closed or slated for shutdown across 33 states due in part to EPA regulations.
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