Share

Topics: Labor Unions

Is Obama's war on coal burying the Democrats' New Deal coalition for good?

By |
Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Labor unions,Barack Obama,Senate,United Nations,Energy and Environment,Coal

Somewhere, Woodrow Wilson is smiling. President Obama appears to have found a way around that pesky constitutional requirement of a two-thirds majority of the Senate approving U.S. treaties with foreign nations.

Wilson gave the world the League of Nations to insure that the Great War would indeed be the one to end all wars. The world said yes, but the Senate said no.

Fast-forward a century and Obama, according to the New York Times, is working behind the scenes with the United Nations "to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress."

It's for our own good

Obama and the Democrats enjoy a (quite possibly, fleeting) Senate majority with 55 reliable votes and the House doesn't vote on treaty approval, so why waste the energy and political capital?

There is virtually no way Obama could muster the 67 Senate votes required for treaty approvals because Republicans would oppose a new climate change pact, as would more than a few Senate Democrats.

Nobody in the Obama White House wants to revisit the Kyoto Treaty's failure to attract sufficient U.S. support for ratification in the Senate.

Who needs representative democracy anyway?

The international climate change deal gambit is only the latest of a succession of Obama moves to rule by decree rather than through compromise, concession and consensus.

The administration's role in the negotiations at the U.N. mirror Obama's use of the Environmental Protection Agency on the domestic front to impose new regulations that will all but destroy the coal industry.

Even when Democrats controlled both chambers in 2009 and 2010, Congress wouldn't approve a cap-and-trade deal that would have had dire consequences for the coal industry.

The even more damaging EPA regs now advancing will likely be defunded in 2015 if Republicans regain the Senate in November.

Is Obama splitting Democrats for good?

For decades, members of the United Mine Workers of America union were among the most solid Democrat voters. Obama's environmental regulations are unravelling that loyalty.

In testimony before a Pennsylvania state legislative panel earlier this year, UMWA counsel Eugene Trisko noted that EPA's regulatory program is projected to slash Appalachian coal production from 300 million tons annually to 91 million, with a result that coal "ceases to be a significant source of energy for the United States."

Trisko said his union isn't buying EPA claims the hundreds of thousands of coal mining jobs will be replaced by even better "green jobs" producing clean energy because "those are not OUR jobs. Those are somebody else’s jobs.”

That's why Wilson may be grinning somewhere, but odds are good FDR wonders why Obama is taking apart the Democratic coalition that ruled American politics for half a century and more.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Why did the government wait until now to disclose the doomsday email backup?

Watchdog/Mark Flatten: VA IG finds no direct link between patient deaths and scheduling scams at Phoenix hospital.

Watchdog/Kelly Cohen: Big contractors failed to deliver contracted services, but EPA paid them anyway.

Columnists/Noemie Emery: Obama tries but he cannot avoid evil.

Columnists/Ron Arnold: Under assault by Big Green, coal is fighting back.

Columnists/Timothy P. Carney: Ex-Im faces rocky path to renewal as Congress returns.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Letting the cat out of the bag on public employee unions.

Beltway Confidential/Byron York: Marco Rubio's course correction on immigration.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Democrats set primary calendar that favors Hillary Clinton.

PennAve/Rebecca Berg: People dressed as animals is the newest campaign sideshow.

PennAve/Betsy Woodruff: Here's how the Democratic candidates plans to win the Kansas governor's race.

Legal Newsline/Jessica Karmasek: Texas firm drops lawsuit against Apple on touchscreen patent.

Video/Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for Aug. 27.

In other news

USA Today: China hopes trade, tourism will calm Silk Road terror.

The Washington Post: U.S. Coast Guard cutter fires warning shot at Iranian sail boat in the Persian Gulf.

The Wall Street Journal: Germany's expensive gamble on renewable energy.

Righty Playbook

The National Interest: Fixing fragile states.

Washington Free Beacon: Political clout pays off big-time for Elon Musk's SpaceX.

The American Spectator: Warren Buffett to Uncle Sam -- Drop dead.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: ISIS and the virtue of moral clarity.

Lefty Playbook

The Daily Beast: Kochs take on camo-wearing cops in effort to avoid another Ferguson.

The Washington Monthly: Is ending the Euro an impermissible discussion?

Slate: What a settlement between Israel and Hamas will look like.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Forty percent of restaurant workers live in near-poverty.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner

More from washingtonexaminer.com