Back when he was a senator running for president, Barack Obama stated he would bankrupt the American coal industry. As president, he used the regulatory agency order and extended the definition of the Clean Air Act of 1970. The U.S. Supreme Court did grant a request to temporarily block the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan as a lawsuit moves forward. It was the first time the Supreme Court had ever halted federal regulations during a legal challenge. However, it may have truly come too late.
As reported by Fox Business News, “The bankruptcy of Peabody Energy (BTU), the world’s largest private coal producer, puts an exclamation point on the industry’s struggles and their ripple effect.
Like its fellow coal miners, Peabody has been hit by cheap natural gas and costly new regulations. Peabody, whose $2 billion loss in 2015 marked the fourth straight year of red ink for the company, warned last month that bankruptcy might be on the horizon. The move was made official Wednesday, as Peabody filed for Chapter 11 protection for most of its U.S. entities.
Peabody is one of many mining firms that have sought bankruptcy. Patriot Coal, which Peabody spun off in 2007, went bankrupt in May 2015, just 18 months after emerging from its prior bankruptcy. Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Walter Energy also entered bankruptcy within the last year. According to Peabody, about 50 coal companies have gone bankrupt amid coal’s decline. Peabody said it was taking this action during an “unprecedented industry downturn,” according to a letter to customers that was posted on Peabody’s website.”
I just have to ask, what American president would make it a goal to destroy an entire American industry? The answer: one whose ideological agenda is more important than American jobs, families, and way of life. Could it have been possible to work with the coal industry to advance better technologies? Instead, how many Americans have been purposefully driven into government dependency in order to care for their families because of their lost jobs?
As well, what will happen to those low income families who relied on cheaper energy prices because of coal? America is the Saudi Arabia of coal and why shouldn’t we encourage that energy sector as part of our national energy portfolio?
We know the Obama administration is also using the Endangered Species Act to seal off more lands in the western United States to stem the opportunity for greater energy exploration. Why?
“Coal companies and 29 states argue that the Clean Power Plan goes beyond the Obama administration’s authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act. The newest regulations, which were announced in the summer of 2015, would mandate a large reduction in carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, effectively forcing hundreds to close.”
And to those of you who’ll plead the case about clean air, well, the SCOTUS realized the Obama administration had seriously overreached its powers — but again, too late.
This is the calculation by Obama and his progressive socialist acolytes. They implement the rule or regulation, without any immediate challenge from the legislative branch, knowing it will take a few years before any industry challenge will see the light of day in court. By then, it’s apparent their damage has been done, as we see with the coal industry. This isn’t how things should be done in a Constitutional Republic. This more resembles the tyranny of a Constitutional Monarchy at minimum. The Obama administration has truly found a way to leverage the power of government in order to achieve its ideological ends. We’ve seen that with the IRS, EPA, and most recently the Treasury Department issuing new regulations against corporations facing the tyranny of Obama’s taxation whip.
The decimation of the coal industry and subsidiaries that support it has a further negative trickle down effect. “The impact of coal’s downturn has spread into other industries, such as the railroads that ship coal around the country. CSX (CSX), the third-largest U.S. railroad, said Wednesday its coal volume during the first quarter narrowed 31 percent, fueling a 19 percent drop in earnings. Chairman and CEO Michael J. Ward warned that CSX continues to forecast a full-year decline in per-share earnings due to “ongoing coal headwinds combined with other market fundamentals.”
Is this yet another example of cronyism? While CSX suffers, there is one railroad company doing very well: Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), owned by Obama’s buddy, Warren Buffett. Yep, the same Buffett who didn’t support the Keystone XL pipeline, because he’d rather have that energy resource transported on his rail line.
Back in 2008 it was all about “hope and change.” Right now there are many Americans hoping this nightmare will soon change, and end.