Looking Beyond the Rhetoric of Obama’s Final SOTU

In last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama focused on America’s role in building the future of our world. What he neglected to acknowledge, however, is the key role that affordable, reliable fossil-based energy plays in ensuring a robust economic future right here at home in the U.S. — and around the globe. Instead, he attacked our base-load energy source, maligning it without giving any credence to the fact that coal provides nearly 40 percent of the nation’s power and has helped make us the superpower we are today.

The president also talked about the importance of renewables and changing the way we manage our resources. What he conveniently left out of the conversation is that renewables, like the much-lauded solar industry, are greatly subsidized by taxpayers and that a forced over-reliance on them will result in skyrocketing electricity bills and an unstable grid.

Since 2006, businesses and homeowners have been eligible for a 30 percent tax credit if they install solar panels on their property. This subsidy was meant to be temporary to get the flailing industry off the ground. Yet, in December, congressional Democrats pushed through an unnecessary extension by tying it to a must-pass spending bill that will keep the tax credit in place for yet another six years. Why? Because President Obama is more concerned with picking winners and losers in the energy space rather than letting markets work as they are designed to do.  All of this is well and good if you can afford solar, but the fact of the matter is the vast majority of us cannot and we are left subsidizing the wealthy who can.

The economic pain doesn’t stop with subsidies; it’s also felt in our monthly electric bill – which will only go up if Obama has his way.  According to analysis done by NERA Economic Consulting, the president’s power plan will result in:

  • Double-digit energy price increases for 40 states;
  • Compliance costs totaling nearly $300 billion; and,
  • Peak-year increases of 20 percent or more for 28 states.

This is not a future that the American people can afford. It will drag down our economy and make life harder for families already struggling to make ends meet.

President Obama is trying to cement his legacy on the environment, but the foundation he’s building on is fractured. In contrast to his gloom and doom rhetoric, his policies not only threaten the availability of reliable, affordable energy on which Americans depend, but also will have no meaningful effect on global climate change.

This bears repeating.  The president is saddling us with billions of dollars in economic pain that will bring no environmental gain.  America’s future is indeed at stake, which is why it’s more important than ever that we look beyond the rhetoric and get to the facts behind the presidents costly power plan.

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America's Power
America's PowerFeb 2 at 11:15am
The U.S. coal fleet provides millions of U.S. families and businesses access to affordable, reliable electricity. It also has positive economic impacts by creating jobs and strengthening our global competitiveness by cutting costs for American industry. Baseload coal electricity must be an integral part of America’s energy future.