by Cliff Kincaid
April 5, 2012
The notion that President Obama is trying to fire up his “base,” as he prepares for a re-election campaign, raises the question of what constitutes his base. It is becoming increasingly clear that the “workers” he is supposedly concerned about are going to be dismissed or ignored so that wealthy environmental groups can be accommodated.
Consider the words of Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful United Mine Workers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, after EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson made a ruling against coal plants. “The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” Roberts said. Those who missed the news about Jackson shutting down coal plants through executive branch rules and regulations may have been unprepared for the Roberts assault. It was a big story for the media but framed in a way that played down the significance of what is taking place.
“For New Generation of Power Plants, a New Emission Rule From the E.P.A.” was the misleading headline over the story in The New York Times. Much more is at stake than just a “new emission rule” that is somehow supposed to affect global warming.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, put it another way, saying the EPA “is fully engaging in a war on coal…” Manchin went on, “this ill-advised proposal to prevent new coal-fueled generation will move this country away from using all our domestic resources, and I will fight it every step of the way.”
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson is an environmental zealot who advocates “eco-justice.” In 2010, she received a copy of a “Green Bible” from the liberal National Council of Churches. Her mission is to wage war on the fossil fuel industry in order to build what she calls a “green economy.” She is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Conference on the Scientific, Religious, and Cultural Implications of Global Warming, sponsored by the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. Jackson received the group’s “Steward of God’s Creation award.”
Before becoming the EPA Administrator, Jackson served as chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, who also served as a New Jersey senator before running the MF Global financial group, now embroiled in scandal and corruption over $1.2 billion in missing money. Jackson had been appointed by Corzine to be commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2006.
Jackson’s attack on the coal industry will help China and other U.S. competitors. Although the United States is considered the Saudi Arabia of coal because data show that U.S. currently has the world’s largest coal reserve, America is far behind China in terms of coal production and will fall even further behind because of the new EPA regulations.
On the West Virginia Metro News Talkline radio show, Roberts made his hard-hitting remarks, which have shaken the Obama Administration. In addition to his statement, “The Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” he said:
- “Coal is the fastest growing energy source in the world and they’ve decided, at the EPA, well, we’re going to control what goes into the atmosphere worldwide by halting the construction of coal fired facilities in the United States.”
- “It doesn’t work, for one thing, and, the second thing, it is just devastating for our economy.”
- “You have to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions throughout the world. You can’t just regulate them through the EPA of the United States.”
The Soros-funded blog, Think Progress, called Roberts’ statements “preposterous,” a fascinating reaction that suggests that Obama is prepared to throw the mine workers down the shaft. The purpose of Think Progress, an unofficial arm of the White House, is to punish anyone—even Democrats—who speak ill of the President or his policies.
Our media failed, perhaps deliberately so, to explain the real significance of what the EPA was doing. The Washington Post headline about the EPA moving against coal was, “EPA imposes first greenhouse gas limits on new power plants.” This story by Juliet Eilperin actually quoted some “advocacy groups” as saying that the EPA proposal was “too weak.”
As noted by the Post, the EPA claimed the new EPA rules and regulations would only affect new power plants. “The media were careful to repeat this claim too,” noted a Wall Street Journal editorial. In fact, however, the paper says, “It isn’t true…the rules will put old plants at risk because of another EPA program known as New Source Review.”
It explains, “Whenever a plant upgrades—whether installing a new fan blade or replacing the proverbial toilet seat—it must comply with every rule on the books. So as a utility obeys the mercury rule, say, it will also be caught in the pincer movement of these new carbon performance standards. The green lobby knows this will slowly kill even current coal plants over time.”