Obama rushes out 11th-hour regulations targeting beleaguered coal industry

by
December 21, 2016

At the eleventh hour, the Obama administration on Monday rolled out regulations to crack down on coal mining across the country, a parting shot against the beleaguered industry as the president leaves office.

The regulations, designed to protect America’s streams and waterways from pollution produced during mining operations, will add significant costs to coal mining companies, many of which are struggling to operate.

The Interior Department estimates that it will cost the coal industry about $81 million each year to comply with the rule. The agency stressed that figure is just 0.1 percent of the coal industry’s “aggregate annual revenues.”

“We traveled the country, visited many mines and met with many of the people who work and live in coal country to make sure we wrote the best rule possible — one that is both economically achievable and protective,” said Janice Schneider, the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for land and minerals management.

But critics, including leaders in the energy sector and Republicans on Capitol Hill, have said the proposal will be much more expensive and surely will lead to even more layoffs in the industry, which has been losing jobs each year during the Obama administration.

  • justinwachin

    President Trump should announce that most of these buzzer beater regulations are going to be examined and likely repealed on Jan. 20.

    President Barack Hussein Obama has spent the last eight years trying to destroy our nation. It’s good to know that on Jan. 20 we are going to have a president that actually wants to make America great.

  • Dan

    Obama emphasized climate change to try to unite the people of the world….I don’t think it worked.

  • Rodney Steward

    Everybody has been loosing jobs under this clown, not just the coal plants, but they have been hit hard, after many millions were spent to make it clean burning! But this President has never been for anything good for this country, just flood it with gutter rats!

    • bobnstuff

      The total number of jobs in the coal industry doesn’t equal the number of jobs created each and every month for the last few years. There are only 143,000 jobs in coal in our country. Only about 80,000 of them are in mining. That number is only about 20,000 jobs less the 8 years ago. Also you can’t make coal burn clean.

      • gvette

        On further research, your buddys jobs are all pretty much minim wage. You left that part out.

      • Tammympennington

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  • CBUJAN

    Don’t worry people Trump will reverse Obama’s regulations and put miners back to work.

  • bobnstuff

    If you have ever live down stream from a coal mine you would welcome any regulation that protected your water. Coal companies as a rule care little about the people around their mines and the only thing keeping them in check are the regulations. These so called last minute rules have been in the works for some time. In case you didn’t know they don’t just go to work one day and decide on a new regulation. It’s not the regulations that is killing coal, it’s the market. With natural gas prices low and the international market shrinking coal is in trouble. If Trump starts a trade war with China things will be even worse. Most countries are cutting back on burning coal anyway. Blaming the Democrats on an industries dying is easy but even with the Republicans in charge it will still continue to die. The “Age of Coal” is over.

    • gerald Hughes

      Kill yourself worthless low life liberal dem bloodsucking parasite, you are breathing air and occupying space a human being could be using.

    • Jim Bill Wells

      bobnstuff-typical regulation bullshit by the Communist Muslim leader Obama and whiny Democrats-what we need is regulations on wind farms and solar panels -represent 1% of our energy -coal produces more electricity at a cheaper price -but like all stupid Democrats you like paying those high prices for your stupidity!

      • bobnstuff

        You do know that it was Nixon who created the EPA. You are the typical low knowledge right winger. If you want to pay more for your electricity get it from coal. Today natural gas is cheaper, cleaner, easier to transport. It’s you that has been sold a myth. Have you ever been in a coal mine? Solar will be the energy of the future but it’s still about ten years before it’s the cheapest. Check out Solar City. I’m pretty sure I know more about coal mining then you do, it’s in the family history. Both grandfathers and two uncles were coal miners, I live in a house built by mine owners and there was a coal mine in my back yard. I grew up playing in strip mines. I also have gas wells around me and give me one of them any day as a neighbor.

        • gvette

          You are correct, Bob. trouble is, Barry gave them the power of setting policy. That’s one of the reasons we don’t have any new refinerys
          Now as for your other bullshit, solar only exists because of government help. (money)
          For at least the last thirty years the alternative energy industry has been claiming they are almost ready to be economically competitive with fossil fuel. Wind, solar, geothermal, and others keep begging for government subsidies to help them stay afloat until they can reach a size at which economies of scale kicks in, price per kilowatt hour drops, and then they can survive on their own. Now we are seeing this has been a blatant grab for taxpayer dollars and the subsidies were more about industry executives and shareholders getting rich than about reaching a green industry future.

          For the past few years the United States has received a veritable flood of cheap Chinese solar panels, dropping costs by 99 percent over 36 years. According to the industry itself, solar installations have increased by a factor of 60 since just 2006 and for the first nine months of 2014 solar represented 32 percent of newly installed electric generating capacity.

          Now that the solar industry’s tax credit is near expiring, the industry appears to be changing its tune. Rhone Resch, the CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urged all their members to lobby for an extension of the 30 percent tax credit beyond its current December 2016 expiration date. Without an extension, Resch claims that the industry will see a loss of 100,000 jobs.

          Considering that the solar installation industry currently employs about 175,000 people (by their own figures), a 100,000 job decline would represent almost a 60 percent plunge. The solar industry’s top lobbyist is essentially telling us all that the solar industry would lose 60 percent of its volume if it had to compete on a level playing field (or a more level one, since state tax credits would still exist in a number of states).

    • Rodney Steward

      So is the Dem party!! The climate change scam is the reason for some cut backs, but time to bring it back, and get the country back to work, and have you ever lived down stream from a coal plant!

      • bobnstuff

        In this case it’s not climate change, it’s clean water. Coal is a dying industry, and has been for years. If you want to create jobs do it in a industry with a future. There are more jobs in renewable energy then in coal today. These are new jobs that didn’t exist 15 years ago. And yes I have lived down steam from a coal fired power plant, also down wind. You don’t want to live there. The ash is a gray color and even with scrubbers in place you still have to sweep your porch every day. Coke plants have a darker colored ash and steel mills ask can be a few different colors depending on the type of mill. You get to breath it no matter the color. None of the plants would do a thing about cleaning up their act if the government didn’t make them. Pollution kills in case you didn’t know it.

        • gvette

          Again, you’re funny. There are 14 thousand wind turbines littering the country. It’s a joke, just like solar.

          • bobnstuff

            Wind and solar costs are almost all up front. Once they are installed that’s the major expanse. The cost of solar is one fourth of what it was just a few years ago and there are new technologies coming up fast that cut the cost even more. Solar costs less today then wind. In the short run though it’s neither sun or wind but natural gas that is winning the race. It’s cheaper, cleaner and you can convert a coal plant to run on it. You can have a gas well in your back yard and hardly know it’s there, not like a coalmine.

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