President Obama today unveiled what he has called a Climate Action Plan – a plan that Missouri’s largest employer association, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, calls a “War on Coal” and a “War on Jobs.”
“This is not a promise, this is a threat to the American people,” said Missouri Chamber President Dan Mehan. “President Obama’s plan to escalate his “War on Coal” is destroying jobs and raising costs across the nation. His edict gives little thought to the impact of the economy, especially in states like Missouri, which relies on coal for more than 80 percent of its energy supply. This is the Obamacare of environmental regulations, and once again Missouri employers and consumers will end up paying the price of President Obama’s shortsighted approach to policy.”
President Obama’s proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule, which sets new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gases emitted by new fossil fuel-based electric generation plants, would effectively shutter coal-fired power generation plants and prevent construction of new ones.
Coal provides 82 percent of Missouri’s electric power generation, providing power for the equivalent of more than 2.2 million homes and 124,000 businesses. Missouri uses 46.4 million tons of coal to generate 78.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Direct and indirect employment generated by U.S. coal mining in Missouri accounts for 6,680 jobs, for a combined payroll of $371 million.
Already increased EPA regulations under the Obama Administration have played a role in the closure of one fifth of our nation’s coal plants, according to banking and industry analysis firm Credit Suisse.