Co-authored by: Lewis K. Uhler and Peter J. Ferrara
Continued from Part I
America has the resources to be the world’s number one producer of oil, natural gas, and coal. The development of these mighty energy industries would be the backbone of renewed booming economic growth and prosperity for the United States.
Low cost, reliable energy is the foundation of successful modern economies, and would inspire a renaissance of American manufacturing, which is energy intensive. That would produce ultimately tens of millions of high paying jobs for blue collar workers. The sharp decline in the price of natural gas, resulting from the technological breakthrough of modern fracking, already started that effect.
But as President Obama infamously stated during his 2008 presidential campaign, under his plan “electricity costs would necessarily skyrocket.” Obama’s White House Science Advisor John Holdren later elaborated, “We need to de-develop the United States to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” (emphasis added).
President Obama has pursued this plan, shutting down oil and gas exploration and development on federal land and offshore to the extent possible. Oil and gas production has skyrocketed only on private and state lands. Under Obama, the EPA has issued regulations decimating coal production, and threatening oil and gas production even on private and state lands, through such abusive regulation as the “Clean Power Plan.”
A recent study by the National Black Chamber of Commerce estimates that the “Clean Power Plan” will cause job losses reaching 7 million for blacks and 12 million for Hispanics, with the poverty rate increasing by more than 23 percent for blacks and 26 percent for Hispanics. Ultimately, the Plan will more than double the cost of natural gas and electricity, adding over $1 trillion to family and business energy bills, as Obama promised.
“Skyrocketing” energy prices will drain funds that could be used for new jobs and wage increases, destroying millions of jobs in companies and businesses that can no longer compete under the higher costs. The “Clean Power Plan” will reduce U.S. economic growth every year, causing $2.3 trillion in losses over the next 10 years.
During Obama’s Presidency, 332 coal mines have been closed in West Virginia alone, eliminating 35 percent of coal industry employment in a state which now has the highest unemployment rate in the country. According to the Energy Information Administration, over the next 5 to 7 years, a third of America’s coal-fired generation capacity will be eliminated.
The Keystone Pipeline would have created 50,000 good paying blue collar jobs in construction alone. Bringing a long term supply of reliable, low cost energy from our friendly North American ally, Canada, it would have supported millions more good paying, blue collar jobs in American manufacturing for decades.
EPA’s own analysis concludes that its fully implemented Clean Power Plan would reduce average global temperatures by only 0.05 degrees F by the year 2100. That cannot possibly pass any possible cost-benefit analysis.
Under these Obama liberal, progressive, Democrat policies, there will be no American manufacturing renaissance. These policies amount to a declaration of war on the American economy and on blue collar working families.
Yet Obama’s regulatory overkill is quietly supported by billionaires, such as California Democrat Tom Steyer and the shadowy Nat Simons, heavily invested in high cost, government subsidized, “alternative” energy. Blue collar working people voting for Hillary Clinton and continuation of these delusional policies next year would be like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.
Expect to see the Republican nominee for President next year campaigning at labor union conventions and running with labor union endorsements, such as the United Mine Workers, the International Association of Machinists, and the Industrial Workers of the World.
Lew Uhler is Founder and President of the National Tax Limitation Committee and of the National Tax Limitation Foundation. Peter Ferrara is Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, a Senior Policy Advisor to the National Tax Limitation Foundation, and an attorney for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.