Obama Bucks Politics As Usual With New Carbon Limits That Are Welcome and Long Overdue


The Obama administration’s new EPA guidelines to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants should be applauded and the reaction from Republicans and some Democrats is more cynical politics as usual.

By 2030, the New EPA guidelines will:


– Cut carbon emission from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels, which is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year;

– Cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent as a co-benefit;

– Avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days—providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits; and

– Shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system

The point of new guidelines is to make coal based power plants run more efficiently. It is this new efficiency that has Republicans and coal state Democrats howling at the moon. Republicans by ideology go into convulsions anytime a new federal regulation is proposed, unless that regulation relates to what a woman can do with her own body, but conservatives and some Democrats are using the new guidelines to push the bogus coal industry propaganda of the war on coal.

Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell, so she released a statement jumping on the “war on coal” bandwagon, “President Obama’s new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky. Coal keeps the lights on in the Commonwealth, providing a way for thousands of Kentuckians to put food on their tables. When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the President’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority.”

The politics behind a statement such as this one from a red state Democrat are understandable. In the coal industry dependent red states, the war on coal is considered a gospel fact. The McConnell campaign is trying to define Grimes as an Obama puppet, so her political motivations are easily understood. She was trying to demonstrate her independence as a candidate while sticking up for a vital industry in her state.

The problem is that there is no Obama war on coal. The war on coal was waged by the natural gas industry. Obama isn’t harming the coal industry, but the flood of cheap natural gas is killing coal jobs. Ironically, the war on coal started under George W. Bush in 2004. This was when utility companies started to convert over to natural gas. Conservatives wanted to drill, baby drill, and the natural gas industry has done exactly that.

The politics of climate change in the United States have never been in touch with science and reality. The truth is that the administration is only seeking to reduce coal power plant emissions back to 2005 levels, and they are allowing the states to come up with their own plans to meet the 2030 goal.

This isn’t top down regulation coming from the federal government. It’s common sense.

The economic costs will be incredibly low, and the benefits will be high, “”Of course there will be costs, and costs of compliance, but overall for the economy the costs will not be very large, much less than 1 percent of gross domestic product,” said Robert Stavins, professor of business and government for Harvard University’s environmental economics program.

65% of Americans, and 52% of Republicans, support new regulations on coal power plants. President Obama took a historic step in dealing with climate change and pollution.

It is time for America to stop being held hostage by coal industry talking points, and do what is right for future generations.

Politics as usual suffered a defeat today, as President Obama led the nation past partisan talking points and into tomorrow.

12 Replies to “Obama Bucks Politics As Usual With New Carbon Limits That Are Welcome and Long Overdue”

  1. “I have a pen and I have a phone.” Wonder if the repubs remember that line as well as I do? With no second term to worry about the president is taking bolder steps and making stiffer speeches. Can’t wait to see what’s next from him. Gobama!

  2. I bet the Koch Brothers are calling President Obama some things never heard in the modern English language right now. But, so be it. This is a win for our Country, and for generations to come. Once again the President is playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers. Part of this intiative is that every state is responsible to come up with a solution to there own emissions problem. That is over 50 different responses, with federal oversight over there response or face penalties. I am extremely happy about this, and curious to see how this works out. You can be rest assured, if it’s all things Obama!!! It will work. Thank You Mr President.

  3. I don’t think the country should be held hostage by a bunch of people who have their heads in the sand and can’t see the writing on the proverbial wall.

    Climate change IS real and unless we deal with it NOW, it will be too late.

    Glad the Administration is taking this action and I look forward to more. The days of ignoring this issue are gone.

  4. These new regulations are the result of a Supreme Ct. ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA. I don’t expect the GOPTPers or the timid dems to tell anyone this. The president is acting according to the law, but all is detractors are worried about is getting elected or reelected, so they’ll say anything.

    “Under President George W. Bush, the agency argued that Congress never intended to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, so it lacked authority to do so. In 2007, the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling in
    Massachusetts v. EPA that the law was “unambiguous” and that emissions came under its broad definition of “air pollutant.” It ordered the agency to determine whether greenhouse-gas emissions endanger public health or the environment. The EPA issued an “endangerment finding” in December 2009 that laid the groundwork for the power-plant rule it proposed Monday.

  5. Good news for us all long term but bad news for the chances of Mitch McConnell being handed his long overdue walking ticket out of the senate. Alison Grimes is going to run a thousand miles from the president on this one.

  6. I thank President Obama for implementing his coal restrictions. As China and India ramp up their coal fired plants the USA will cut theirs back. The US will block Keystone XL and be forced to import more oil from over seas as the natural gas burnoff in bakken is made illegal and baken is forced to shut down to meet EPA rules.
    The rich will be ok but the avergage american will have issues paying $15 for natural gas and $10.00 a gallon for gas. It will not be practical for second homes to be owned. Canadians like me will step in to the new America when the real estate crash happens as people cant keep 2 homes cant heat the ones they have its going to be real good. Cheap real estate in Florida and all of the USA. Go Obama Go Obama Go!!! Heres a tip you guys are broke already. Implementing this will cripple your economy. Then India and Chian can buy it all up, of course us canadians too. I seriously doubt the democrats will ever get elected again.
    Obama hahahahahahahah. I love you man!!!…

  7. Perhaps you should ask your government to cut support and funding to Pakistan, India, China and other countrys until they hold the bar. Why do you and your country men fund pollution, answer me that one

  8. Hey Einstein that oil from that cracked pipeline that would contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer is not intended for the US market. If you know anything you would know that all oil no matter where it comes from goes on the world market to be sold. Stupid is as stupid does. My advise to you is to turn off faux and go back to summer school so you can learn some critical thinking

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