The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s war on energy, which has been fought primarily in the political trenches of Washington, is about to be taken to the streets and neighborhoods of America.
The EPA has launched an unprecedented attack on coal-fired power plants through a plethora of rule makings that will take effect in the near future. The proposed rules have the common goal of eliminating coal as a source of fuel to generate electricity. The new EPA rules are bad news for Michigan which currently generates about two-thirds of its electricity from coal-fired power plants. Replacing these with unreliable wind energy is not practical. Power plants fueled by natural gas can replace lost production from shuttered coal plants, but the cost of electricity will necessarily increase. Michigan already has the highest electric rates in the region and a further increase in electricity rates will only further erode the state’s competiveness in creating jobs.
Taking coal-fired plants off line is a serious threat to the nation’s energy security, especially during periods of peak energy demand such as summer heat waves. If Michigan avoids blackouts, it is only because the state’s economy has been bad for so long and considerable energy demand has evaporated, especially in the commercial and industrial sector. Higher costs will burden companies even more and make it less likely they will add employees.
Any politician who says he or she is for creating jobs but does not act to stop the EPA’s war on energy is simply speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Voters should hold any elected official accountable who does not vote to stop the EPA job killing juggernaut about to be foisted on Americans.