What’s a statist president to do? Enact a war on coal because he believes in it and risk swing state voters; or wait until his second term when it’s too late for those swing state voters?
Well, we all know what President Obama did. He used the EPA to fulfill at least one of his campaign promises, and that was to bankrupt the coal industry. He put ideology ahead of politics, hoping he would be able to use his charm and promises of government benefits to the newly unemployed to swing things his way.
We’ll see how that worked. It doesn’t look like he’s doing very well in coal country. Mitt Romney sees an opening.
“The head of the EPA has… said that the regulations on burning coal are now so stringent it’s virtually impossible to build a new coal-fired [electrical power] plant,” Romney said at the Abingdon rally. “Well, I don’t believe in putting our coal under the ground forever. I believe we should take advantage of it, put American workers back to work and use a resource that’s abundant and cheap and can be burned in a clean way.”
The crowd cheered Romney’s words, a message that sounds eminently sensible to people whose livelihoods are directly threatened by Obama’s policies, but has been given short shrift in the national media, seemingly indifferent to the far-reaching economic consequences of the “green” fanaticism that has dominated EPA since 2009. This extremist ideology is aimed at destroying the American coal industry, as was spelled out explicitly by Obama during his 2008 campaign. He notoriously told the San Francisco Chronicle that, under his planned cap-and-trade agenda to reduce carbon emissions, “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” In making this vow, the then-candidate acknowledged what it would mean: “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (Read More)
I suppose Obama was trying to completely bankrupt the coal industry sooner – so that he could have turned the 47% into the 65% – destroy them to the point that they would vote for him because he has a plan to “take care” of them. Or maybe he knew he would only have one shot at it, so he had to destroy it all quickly. Seeing that I’m not a statist I’ll never be able to figure it out completely.
Either way, why would anyone give him a second term? He has the opposite of the Midas Touch. Perhaps he even inadvertently helped to coin a new term for when things go horribly wrong: “The Obama Touch.” Why would anyone want four more years of the dreadful “Obama Touch?” (Oh, and who can forget how many companies he “invested” in that went belly up? Romney was pretty much right when he said Obama picks losers.)