Policy: Environment & Energy

Morning Examiner: There's an elephant in the living room of Obama's coal-killing power plant regulation

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,EPA,Energy and Environment,Coal,Electricity,Power Plants

As expected, the major regulatory proposal in President Obama's push to end the use of coal to produce 40 percent of the nation's electricity was announced yesterday to very mixed reviews.

On the one hand, Obama's cheerleaders in the environmental movement and the media predictably hailed the proposal, as Third Way's Joshua Freed put it, as "quite pragmatic and quite centrist."

But just as predictably, as the Washington Free Beacon's Lachlan Markay reported, others weren't so happy, with United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts predicting "long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Both can't be right

So is the Obama proposal a pragmatic and centrist way to deal with global warming, or an economic calamity for hundreds of thousands of American families that will achieve little or nothing to improve the environment?

Don't expect a straight answer to that question from the Obama administration, because the president himself appears to have lapsed back into his disastrous "if you like your health insurance, you can keep it — period" mode.

That's seen in a claim Obama made Monday during a conference call with the American Lung Association concerning his proposal's likely effect on utility rates.

The elephant in the living room

According to The Wall Street Journal's Amy Harder, Obama said his proposal "provides a huge incentive for states and consumers to become more energy efficient. As a result, your electricity bills will shrink, as these standards will spur investment in energy efficiency and cutting waste."

That's the exact opposite of what Obama said in a 2008 editorial board meeting at the San Francisco Chronicle: "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Obama's cheerleaders will no doubt defend him by claiming in 2008 he was referring to a different form of cap-and-trade compared to the state-level cap-and-trade system he's proposed in 2014.

Utility bills will go up

What is certain is that -- assuming it ever actually goes into effect -- Obama's proposal will force hundreds of power plants to convert from using coal fuel to natural gas.

The conversion will be costly and those costs will be passed directly to consumers. The conversion will also take years to complete, meaning relief won't be coming for several election cycles.

Put it all together and the political fallout from Obama's coal-industry killing power-plant regulation could dwarf the political problems created for Democrats by his endless delays of the Keystone XL pipeline.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Troubling questions about Obama's deal with the Taliban.

Columnists/Gene Healy: White House press secretary is the most non-essential job in Washington.

Columnists/Cal Thomas: Releasing Taliban prisoners will embolden terrorists.

Columnists/Byron York: Hillary Clinton's Senate years curiously missing from her new book.

Columnists/Sean Higgins: Supreme Court keeps patent trolls under the bridge.

OpEds/Matt Bowman: You will join the freedom of religion witch hunt ... or else.

OpEds/Denise Burke: Supreme Court likely to review admitting-privileges requirements for abortionists.

Beltway Confidential/Kevin Daley: Michelle Obama tells Dem donors taking back the House "is doable."

PennAve/David M. Drucker: "Repeal and replace" has been replaced by GOP strategists. Here's why.

Legal Newsline/John O'Brien: Seventh Circuit rejects class-action settlement against Pella, removes lawyer who exposed himself to women.

In other news

Time Magazine: Republicans making hay over Obama's new power-plant rule.

Newsweek: The truth behind the Bergdahl POW swap with the Taliban.

New York Post: Was Bowe Bergdahl a hero or a deserter?

Righty Playbook

The American Spectator: The subversion of democracy.

The Daily Caller: Politics is the reason Obama did the Taliban deal.

Washington Free Beacon: Russian jet nearly collides with U.S. intelligence aircraft over international waters.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: The paradox of expertise.

Lefty Playbook

The Nation: Why the Working Families Party endorsed Cuomo for re-election.

The New Republic: There was a huge backlash the last time the fat cats tanked the economy. Why not this time?

The American Prospect: Is "The Fault In Our Stars" author John Green this generation's pop philosopher?

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: What happens to the 70,000 kids who show up alone on our border this year?

Blog Right

Legal Insurrection: Female Dem challenger kept off stage at Pelosi's women's rights rally backing the male incumbent.

Yid With Lid: Jay Carney's top 10 lies to the American people.

The Marginal Revolution: On Scotland's independence.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Do Dems have a shot in Mississippi if McDaniel beats Cochran in GOP Senate primary?

Raw Story: Rachel Maddow mocks 50-year-history of hysteria over anti-pollution laws.

Pandagon: French car manufacturer Citroen's new CEO is Linda Jackson.

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