Apr 072012
 
obama_energy_backdrop

Back on February 27th, I published a piece OBAMA RAISES ENERGY COSTS within which, I put forth that the Obama administration was intentionally sticking to energy industries. The piece outlines how the EPA has instituted restrictions so tight and so expensive, they have actually forced power plants to close. Not just one or two, mind you, but hundreds of units. The article also considers the ripple effect this has on America and her citizens. It’s a pretty good piece, I’d recommend it. Anyway, here’s some more on the subject.

Here’s one line that President Barack Obama might want to rewind: “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

That quip from a January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board is making the rounds in conservative circles — even Mitt Romney referred to it last month – and it likely won’t go away anytime soon.

“If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama said, responding to a question about his cap-and-trade plan. He later added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Of course, cap and trade is long dead. But coal-fired power plants are powering down nationwide, and they are blaming the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. The president’s critics say proposed greenhouse gas regulations for future power plants are designed to cripple the coal industry.

And just like with another 2008 quote — Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s famed call to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” — Republicans say the Chronicle clip shows what’s really in the president’s heart, that high electricity prices and the death of coal have always been Obama’s goal.

“There’s one promise he’s kept. One promise he’s kept,” Mitt Romney said on the campaign trail in Illinois last month. “When he campaigned, he said he wanted to raise the price of gasoline. He said that under him, energy costs would skyrocket. And then he brought in a trio of people to help him implement those policies,” Romney said, according to several news outlets .

Cap and trade died in the Senate two years ago, leaving the EPA to take on greenhouse gas emissions on its own — all stick, no carrot — much to the consternation of industry and GOP lawmakers.

“This administration promised before the election that they were going to bankrupt coal,” Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing, before twice running a YouTube clip of the Chronicle interview.

“When the president has a little more flexibility, when we get past November,” wouldn’t he extend greenhouse gas regulations to current power plants? asked Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).

If “we believe his words, and we believe the words from his last campaign, don’t you anticipate he’s going to make the cost rise on the use of coal and even natural gas, because they’re both fossil fuels?” Griffith said. “‘All of the above’ doesn’t include coal — that’s a four letter word, isn’t it?” Griffith said.

Matt Patterson of the Competitive Enterprise Institute began an opinion piece March 29 in the Washington Times with the “bankrupt” quote. “Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned,” Patterson wrote, charging that the greenhouse gas rule will “virtually destroy the coal industry, just as President Obama once promised he would do.”

On March 29, Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity cited the interview in a Fox News opinion piece. The day before, the interview — including a video clip — was the centerpiece of an article in the National Review. And columnist Jack Kelly touted both Obama and Chu’s quotes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 11, writing that “Democrats want high energy prices, but not the blame for them.”

Several radio stations have run the “necessarily” clip in the past week, including WGST in Atlanta and KDKA in Pittsburgh, according to American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity spokeswoman Lisa Camooso Miller, who along with the group’s CEO, appeared on radio shows that played the clip. Miller said the ACCCE did not pitch the clip to the stations. ACCCE this week launched a new TV ad as part of a $40 million campaign promoting coal, including advanced technology plants — “clean coal.” (continued – page 2 link below)

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