Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe plans to highlight a little-known speech by an EPA regional administrator who admitted on video that the Obama administration’s air regulations will kill the coal industry.
“Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country. Just two days ago, the decision on greenhouse gas performance standard and saying basically gas plants are the performance standard which means if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem. That was a huge decision,” Region 1 EPA Administrator Curtis “Curt” Spalding says, in footage filmed at Yale University.
“You can’t imagine how tough that was,” Spalding continued. “Because you got to remember if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal. And to say that we just think those communities should just go away, we can’t do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested. And it’s painful. It’s painful every step of the way.”
Beyond Pesticides’ 30th National Pesticide Forum, March 30-31, 2012, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Spalding’s comments, made at the Beyond Pesticides’ 30th National Pesticide Forum March 30-31, mirror those made by then candidate Obama in 2008. In which he explained that under his cap and trade system coal would suffer.
“[I]f somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” the president said while campaigning. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches.”
Region 1 serves New England states and territories including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and 10 Tribal Nations.
According to his office, Inhofe will show the YouTube video of Spalding’s comments on the floor of the Senate Monday evening, while offering a plan “to put a stop to President Obama’s war on fossil fuels and affordable energy.” (VIDEO: Chris Matthews: Obama ‘made a mistake on Keystone’)
This video is the second in a series about EPA regional administrators sharing insights about the administration’s more controversial energy policy positions and tactics.
In April, Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz resigned over comments he made — highlighted by Inhofe on the Senate floor — in which he compared EPA’s enforcement philosophy to Roman crucifixions.
“I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said,” Armendariz said in 2010. “It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
“And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there.”
Armendariz apologized and resigned shortly after his words were made public. On Wednesday a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel will probe Armendariz’s record and EPA’s policies.