To the editor:
In a January, 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Barack Obama outlined his plan to turn America away from the use of fossil fuels. Under his proposed "Cap and Trade" legislation, producing electricity by burning coal would become prohibitively expensive, and the cost of electricity itself would (in his own words) "skyrocket."
After being elected, President Obama found that Cap and Trade could not make it through Congress. The American people made it clear that they would not accept a system that would triple or quadruple the cost of electricity. The negative economic impact on individuals and on American business was simply unacceptable.
But what the President could not accomplish by gaining the consent of the people, he has accomplished without our consent, through one of the Executive Branch's regulatory arms, the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the past three years the EPA has set new emissions standards that are so high that no coal-burning power plant could possibly meet them and stay in business.
The result? No new coal-burning electric plants to replace the older ones that are shutting down. 30,000 megawatts of electricity gone. (One megawatt powers approximately 1,000 homes.) Power companies buying futures contracts for electricity at three to four times the current price.
The future? Rolling brown-outs as electric supply fails to meet demand. Eye-popping prices for electricity and just about everything we produce or consume.
The demise of coal in America was not a result of market supply and demand. It was not the result of a public debate and a consensus decision. It was part of a plan by the Obama administration to impose their will on the country, whether we wanted it or not. It was the result of an imperial President abusing the power of his office.
The current administration will do nothing to reverse its war on coal. This leaves voters with a choice. Either replace the administration with a new one, or be prepared to endure the crippling economic pain that is part of this President's plan. I know which way I will vote. Power to the people!
Michael A. Thom