News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 16, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 16, 2012

Remember the president’s war on coal?

During the past three years, the Obama administration has unleashed a record number of major new regulations negatively affecting the productivity of American businesses with none more adversely affected than the business of mining coal.

Indiana and other coal-producing states are reeling from the affect of plant closures with the most recent being the Peabody Coal mine located in Vincennes. This closure will affect 230 workers. As a geologist and having worked in the coal industry as an expert in the field of clean coal, Richard Mourdock, Indiana candidate for the U.S. Senate, would be an outspoken advocate for saving this endangered industry.

Barack Obama’s attack against coal was evidenced by his January, 2008 statement, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; 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 we can invest in solar, wind, bio-diesel and other alternative energy approaches.” These sentiments were later parroted by Joe Biden during the 2008 campaign when he said “No coal plants in America,” and again by Energy Secretary Steven Chu when he was quoted as saying “Coal is my worst nightmare.”

To comply with Obama’s agenda, the EPA began instituting an onslaught of new regulations on the coal industry while exhibiting total indifference for the thousands of hard-working American families dependent on its continued existence. The decision to sacrifice an estimated 1.4 million jobs between 2011 and 2020 is based on Obama’s ideological pursuits of unrealistic energy goals.

The EPA estimates the costs to the industry at $10 billion a year to comply with mercury and air toxins standards. In contrast to these figures, the National Economic Research Associates believe compliance costs may be more than twice the EPA estimates, projecting costs of $21 billion annually and resulting in 183,000 job losses each year. Over 90 percent of Indiana’s electricity is generated from coal. As a consequence of converting to other energy sources, the cost of electricity will skyrocket.  

It is hard to comprehend a U.S. president intentionally destroying the very industry that fueled the economic development of this great nation and then to further compound his attack on the coal industry by providing billions of taxpayer dollars to his liberal buddies to build factories for producing experimental energy devices that have resulted in only one failed debacle after another.

As a proponent for the coal industry, Richard Mourdock believes it would have been far more productive to have allocated those billions of dollars toward developing and implementing technologically advanced systems for producing cleaner coal and saving a viable and established industry.

There are approximately 6,800 Hoosiers employed in mining mainly in Indiana’s southwest 8th district who live in small Hoosier communities dependent on this industry for their very livelihood. This coming election can well be the turning point for our country. Please get informed, then “Remember in November.”

— Courtney Schmidt

Terre Haute

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