President Barack Obama has been hitting the campaign trail hard touting his administration's "all-of-the-above" energy policy. Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic energy, his actions speak louder than his words.
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed New Source Performance Standards for power plants. This new rule would prevent the construction of any new coal-fired power plants. According to EPA's own analysis, the rule assumes no new coal plants will be built in the United States. For the first time, the proposed rule would set a limit for carbon dioxide emissions from all new power plants. This measure would block the construction of any new coal-fired plants. Additionally, any existing plant would be forced to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions using technology that is so new and expensive it is not being done anywhere commercially.
The coal industry is an important industry in Oklahoma, and this is another example of how Obama's energy policies are failing. This is a repeat of cap and tax and a heavy blow to my constituents who live in rural America. According to the National Mining Association, nearly half of U.S. electricity is generated from coal. The demise of this important resource will only cause electricity costs to skyrocket, and if the EPA continues down this regulatory path, hard working families who like to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer can expect higher utility bills.
Coal is not the only example of the president's words contradicting his actions. He has also failed to approve of the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry crude oil from the oil sands fields in Alberta to the U.S. and increase domestic oil production by 700,000 barrels per day. If he does not approve of the pipeline, Canada will sell their resources to other countries and the U.S. will lose out on this opportunity to increase domestic oil supply.
Since the EPA revealed their new performance standards will only decrease energy production in the U.S., I find it hard to believe the president is really for all forms of energy. While his campaign speeches may sound very convincing, his actions have been contradictory. The president needs to find ways to take advantage of all the energy resources our country provides. It is the only way to strengthen our economy and build an enduring domestic energy supply.