Last week, following the dismal jobs numbers that were released on Friday, President Obama told the American people that he wasn't worried about the rise in the unemployment rate, Instead, he said, the "private sector is doing fine."
Well Mr. President, I wholeheartedly disagree.
President Obama's policies and regulations are hurting employers, not helping. In fact, under President Obama, our unemployment rate has remained above 8% for every month since he has taken office. This is unacceptable.
It is not just President Obama's economic policies that are failing. His over-regulation and anti-growth policies are having a negative impact on our already struggling economy.
It is troubling to me that President Obama continues to put our economy at risk at a time when it is most vulnerable by issuing regulations that cause companies to close power plants, which will put people out of work and ultimately raise electricity prices on consumers. At a time of high unemployment rates, especially in some counties in Kentucky where unemployment remains at more than 10 percent, the Obama Administration and his EPA should be working with coal states to create and retain jobs, rather than stopping economic growth and being directly responsible for miners losing their jobs.
The EPA's outright assault on coal is already having a destructive effect on Kentucky's economy, and we will likely see more coal plants be taken offline and no new plants being brought online due to EPA's outrageous expansion of regulations and lawsuits filed by environmental groups with the support of the Obama Administration.
In just the past 10 days I have been made aware of two coal industry corporations that are being forced to lay off employees due to the President and his EPA's regulations. Alpha Natural Resources announced plans to cut back coal mining in its northern and southern Kentucky operations. Just nine days before AEP announced they may abandon operations at the Big Sandy coal fired power plant due to EPA's new permitting regulations. All of this means layoffs, and jobs lost.
But it's not just the Kentucky economy that is taking a hit from EPA's new regulations. Of the approximately 500 coal-burning power plants in the nation, more than 100 (over 20%) are expected to close in the coming years. That is real jobs being lost, and real dollars being taken out of our economy.
As Vice President Biden said on the campaign trail in 2008, under an Obama/Biden Administration there will be "No coal plants here in America.' Well they are certainly well on their way to reaching that goal, at the expense of jobs and our economy.
It's not just coal jobs the President is destroying. President Obama and his Administration also have the opportunity to create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs by moving forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline. I'm not sure why the President refuses to do the right thing for American workers.
It's time for the President to stand up for American workers and take action to create and retain jobs. It's time to rein in the over-regulation being imposed by the EPA, and it's time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, House Republicans have passed 30 bipartisan jobs bills over the past year and President Obama must urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to allow the Senate to pass these bills that will create jobs and boost our economy.
I guess the President really thinks everything in the private sector is "doing fine" and that he doesn't worry about private industry and the jobs it provides. Well, it isn't just fine and his Administration and his policies are making it worse.