Obama targets carbon dioxide as many say it's a war on coal - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Obama targets carbon dioxide as many say it's a war on coal


President Obama ordered sweeping changes Tuesday designed to reduce pollution and make the country less dependent on fossil fuels, and he's bypassing Congress to implement those changes.

The coal industry and other industries that burn the fossil fuel will be affected the most by President Obama's order to restrict carbon pollution.

He's instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to clamp down on power plant emissions and directed the Interior Department to permit new wind, solar and other renewable energy projects on public lands.

Here's reaction from West Virginia's Congressional Delegation:

Senator Jay Rockefeller:  ""I've long believed the science is real and we need to address climate change. Congress should be working to develop an energy policy that protects our families, grows our economy and creates jobs. But instead we have been stuck in deep partisan gridlock.  "I understand the President wants to move forward on climate change, but his remarks today were short on details, and those details matter in the lives of West Virginians. Any action on climate change is going to have a direct effect on the lives of our mining communities that are already facing great uncertainties, and on the pocketbooks of every one of our middle-class families still dealing with a recovering job market.

Senator Joe Manchin:  "The regulations the President wants to force on coal are not feasible. And if it's not feasible, it's not reasonable," Senator Manchin said. "It's clear now that the President has declared a war on coal. It's simply unacceptable that one of the key elements of his climate change proposal places regulations on coal that are completely impossible to meet with existing technology.  "The fact is clear: our own Energy Department reports that our country will get 37 percent of our energy from coal until 2040. Removing coal from our energy mix will have disastrous consequences for our recovering economy. These policies punish American businesses by putting them at a competitive disadvantage with our global competitors. And those competitors burn seven-eighths of the world's coal, and they're not going to stop using coal any time soon.
Congresswoman Shelley Moore-Capito:  "After failing to get congressional approval for his partisan environmental agenda, President Obama has announced that he will unilaterally forge ahead with his job-killing plan.  In 2008, then-Senator Obama made threats to ‘bankrupt' anyone who wants to build a new coal-fired power plant, and over the years he has used the Environmental Protection Agency as a way to accomplish that goal.  Sadly, this recent announcement spells trouble for a vital industry in West Virginia that has already been hard-hit by this administration.   "Today's announcement is another move in the president's tyrannical game of picking winners and losers in the energy industry.  Instead of supporting an all-of-the-above plan, President Obama's devastating regulations will shut down existing coal plants and halt the development of clean coal technology facilities.  Not only will this decision hamstring our nation's ability to become energy independent, but it will prove devastating for American workers and consumers."
Congressman Nick Rahall:  "The misguided, misinformed and untenable policy that the President put forth this afternoon puts at risk the energy security of America and the jobs of millions of our citizens.  Locking away the fuels that power our nation behind ideologically imposed barriers will drive up costs for nearly every business and manner of industrial activity while driving jobs overseas.  Households already struggling to make ends meet will see energy bills skyrocket.  "If the President was serious about reducing carbon emissions and growing our economy then he should not be issuing these crippling regulations until a feasible means exists to comply with them.   Technology that enables fossil fuels to be burned more efficiently and cleanly, could be developed in concert with industry, exported to the rest of the world, which is responsible for more than 80% of carbon emissions, while creating jobs here at home.  But instead, by choosing to travel the uncompromising path he laid out today, leaving energy producers without any realistic means to comply with whims of Washington bureaucrats, he is sowing the seeds for a less competitive nation."
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