Created on Monday, 29 October 2012 Written by Tom Stacy Zanesfield
President Barack Obama seems to believe he has an exemplary record of job creation. This astonishes me. Amid all the hype about his professed interest in creating new economic opportunities, he seems to have forgotten SJR 37, which would have rolled back many overreaching EPA regulations. President Obama stated in a 2008 news interview that he would do what he could to “bankrupt the coal industry.” He sure has made good on this promise.
The Obama EPA agenda has set unattainable standards for the coal industry, causing many plants to begin closing before the 2015 deadline, and closing existing coal plants drives utility rates up even faster than deciding not to build new ones as the economy tries to grow. With the coal industry employing over 10,000 Ohioans and contributing an annual payroll of $1.2 billion, coal plant closures threaten to damage our state’s economy. This industry is the livelihood of many communities throughout Ohio, while 80 percent of our electricity in Ohio is generated by coal. What happens when those jobs are wiped out as the EPA forces utilities to stop burning coal to generate power? More people will be out of work, while at the same time, energy rates will “necessarily skyrocket.” How will so many out-of-work people pay their sky-high energy bills? And what, exactly, is the plan for making the lights go on in our homes when we flip a light switch? Seriously — what will make the lights go on?
Even more concerning is that Ohio’s manufacturing competitiveness depends on low-cost electricity. Higher utility rates may lead to many more Ohio and American job losses outside the coal industry than within.
As a result of just one of many Obama policies, our state is already worse off than it was four years ago. I’m concerned about what could happen in another four years.