In the midst of terrible economic times, let’s raise energy prices dramatically and lay people off …
“Never let the reality of the situation stand in the way of a political agenda”, ought to be the slogan of the Obama reelection campaign.
In the midst of the worst economic downturn the executive branch of the Federal Government (the Obama administration), under the guise of the EPA is ratcheting up standards that will shut down many coal fired plants and their jobs as well as cost billions for utilities to keep other coal plants open. Result:
Consumers could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40 to 60 percent in the next few years.
The reason: Pending environmental regulations will make coal-fired generating plants, which produce about half the nation’s electricity, more expensive to operate. Many are expected to be shuttered.
Of course the timing of the increase is predictable:
The increases are expected to begin to appear in 2014, and policymakers already are scrambling to find cheap and reliable alternative power sources. If they are unsuccessful, consumers can expect further increases as ore expensive forms of generation take on a greater share of the electricity load.
Yup, safely reelected (he hopes), Mr. Obama will smile benignly as he watches more of you hard earned money go for what should be cheap and plentiful energy based on incredibly abundant coal. Instead we’ll be chasing “reliable alternate power sources”. One would like to believe we’d go to natural gas, but then those abundant finds are also being slow walked through the red tape of the government approval process.
More than 8,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity has been retired in the U.S. since 2005, according to data from industrial software company Ventyx. Generators have announced they plan to retire another 21,000 megawatts in the near future, and some industry consultant studies estimate 60,000 megawatts of power, enough for 60 million homes, will be taken offline by 2017.
This in the midst of projected energy shortages as demand increases while we shut down power generation assets.
Certainly we may want to, at some time in the future, shut down all coal fired plants. We may collectively wish to see other energy sources used as well. But that would require a coherent transition plan, viable alternatives, phasing and a little common sense (or essentially being in touch with the reality that one finds around them).
This is a agenda driven, safely-after-the-election, regulatory fiat that will cost workers their jobs and consumers a higher portion of their earned income in poor economic times.
Another, among a myriad of reasons why the man in the White House needs to be in his own house come 2014.