President Obama “Leading” The Way On Climate Change – But Who Is Following?

Posted by Laura Sheehan at 1:13 pm, October 01, 2014

Looking back on last week’s United Nations (UN) climate talks and the environmental community’s self-professed “Climate Week,” it is more apparent now than ever before that President Obama is completely out of touch with the American people he was elected to serve. His administration chose to go “all in” on the showmanship surrounding the UN summit in New York at a time when Americans are profoundly concerned about the U.S. economy and our national security.

Even as President Obama addressed the world stage, the potential impacts of his damaging energy policy remain largely unaddressed here at home. President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) repeatedly employ misleading rhetoric about their overreaching and costly regulations, and his entire administration continues to push a carbon plan that no other nation wants to follow.

Speaking before the UN last Tuesday, President Obama chose to emphasize the “leadership” our nation will display by stringently regulating carbon, ignoring the fact that these regulations will threaten American jobs and the economy with little to no environmental benefit. Yet instead of heeding warnings about electricity cost increases and electric grid reliability, the administration continues to prioritize its own political legacy over our nation’s energy stability.

As if the sheer futility of its plan is not enough to stop EPA from pushing forward, some of the world’s largest carbon emitters failed to even show up to the climate summit last week. Furthermore, nations like Australia and Germany have rolled back carbon taxes and other costly policies that hinder the production of affordable energy because of the adverse economic affects. These leaders share a similar view that President Obama just doesn’t get: it’s not worth sacrificing economic competitiveness for costly regulations that ultimately have little impact on the environment.

It is time for the Obama Administration to let go of its blind ambition and recognize that its “leadership” on climate change will fail to produce real results. Instead, the president should take a cue from other world leaders and promote a balanced, all-of-the above approach to energy. Because as long as President Obama pursues these aggressive and economically harmful policies, he will stand alone.

 

 


What Does Coal Mean To You?

Posted by Elizabeth Jennings at 4:09 pm, September 24, 2014

Continuing with our Share Your Story initiative, I wanted to highlight some recent posts from our supporters on Facebook. We love learning about what coal means to you and your family. Your voice matters, so if you have a story to tell, send us a note or a short video. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

On why coal is important:

“My dad was a coal miner all of his adult life. We were raised on coal money plus our garden. We never had a lot, but we never went hungry.”

“Coal means my lights are on. Coal means my furnace can run. Coal means I can surf the web.”

“It supports our family. I’m very proud of my husband and brother who work very hard in the coal industry. I hope and pray that they’ll have those good jobs for a long time to come.”

“Cheap power= low power bills for me…. keep burning it….”

“Coal provides electricity for my home and provides jobs for countless people.”

 

On EPA regulations:

“And in my opinion, it keeps every other business open when the coal mines go down… other companies and all mom-and-pop shops will close. This is a fact. It won’t just affect the coal miners.”

“This affects far more than coal miners – it affects all the support companies, construction equipment, railroads, power plants and all of their support industries, and all of the users of electric power which includes every company and person in the USA .”

 

And my favorite, in response to our recent story encouraging supporters to visit us at Chicagoland Speedway:

“I can’t come, I’m busy running a coal fired power plant. Please everybody, support coal. It’s the hope of an affordable tomorrow!”

 


Join America’s Power by September 30th & Meet Dale Jr.

Posted by Laura Sheehan at 1:58 pm, September 23, 2014

Can you believe September is already coming to a close? With the NASCAR season winding down, our contest to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the Miami races this November is in its final days.

Dale Jr. is a business owner who understands the importance of affordable, reliable coal-fueled electricity to keep the lights on, meet payroll and continue growing and hiring at his company, JR Motorsports.

Check out this video of Dale Jr. and JR Motorsports co-owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller on the importance of affordable electricity:

We had another tremendous year partnering with JR Motorsports, and we’re excited to give our America’s Power supporters an opportunity to meet Dale Jr. in person. Visit www.AmericasPower.org/meet-dale before September 30th to enter to win an all-expense paid trip to meet Dale Jr. in Miami!

Buzzfeed Photo 5 - Meet Dale

 

And for everything you don’t know (but should know) about Dale Jr. and JR Motorsports, check out our recent article on BuzzFeed.


NASCAR Recap: Chicagoland Speedway

Posted by Elizabeth Jennings at 2:57 pm, September 16, 2014

Joliet, Illinois is home to the Chicagoland Speedway, where the race track can be found among hundreds of acres of beautiful, Midwestern farmland. The America’s Power booth was in full swing during this weekend’s NASCAR races there, and since we weren’t ready to feel the effects of fall just yet, the sun came out for us to have a wonderful time and a great weekend of racing.

NASCAR Blog Photo 3_916

The action kicked off on Saturday with the Nationwide races, where we proudly cheered on the #7 Clean Coal car to a top ten finish. I spent the day at the America’s Power booth, which was positively overflowing with people wanting to learn more about the coal industry. Being able to interact with every visitor – hearing their stories or answering their questions about America’s Power – is by far my favorite aspect of working at our display. One supporter we met was excited to promote the use of coal with his America’s Power t-shirt, and was eager to wear it to his job as an electrical engineer.

NASCAR blog photo 1_916

While it’s bittersweet that Chicagoland was my last race of 2014, I’m grateful to have met so many of our supporters over the course of the year. It’s meaningful to hear directly from those affected by EPA’s carbon regulations and know that we are doing the right thing. Our EPA comment tool received more than 3,000 signatures from hardworking Americans just this weekend, and that is just the motivation I need to keep fighting for our coal communities.

NASCAR Blog Photo 2_916


America’s Power Team Heads to Illinois

Posted by Julia Treanor at 3:27 pm, September 12, 2014

Hi Behind the Plug readers! I recently joined ACCCE as senior director of communications, and I look forward to contributing to the Behind the Plug Blog. Here’s a short preview of what’s in store for us this weekend:

Today, the America’s Power team is heading to Joliet, Illinois for an exciting weekend of NASCAR racing at Chicagoland Speedway. We’re looking forward to cheering on Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Clean Coal Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide series, and meeting other members of the America’s Power team from around the country.

At our booth, we’ll be talking to supporters about the importance of coal-based power to fuel electricity in our homes and businesses. Coal provides nearly 43 percent of Illinois’ electricity and accounts for close to 39,000 jobs. Affordable, reliable power is especially critical to Illinois’ economy, as the state serves as a manufacturing hub with nearly 580,000 workers – or 10 percent of the workforce – employed by the industry as of 2013. Keeping our energy costs low will allow these manufacturers to grow their businesses and hire even more workers throughout the state.

If you’re at the race, come find America’s Power in Champions Park, where Regan Smith will be meeting fans and signing autographs on Saturday September 13th at 10:00 AM CT. And if you’re not at Chicagoland Speedway but will be watching the NASCAR races this weekend, keep an eye out for Regan in the #7 Clean Coal Chevy rounding the track and (fingers crossed) racing to victory.

Orange Regan Smith and Car Macro


The Story of Electricity

Posted by Laura Sheehan at 3:12 pm, September 05, 2014

Yesterday marked an important anniversary in America’s energy history – 132 years ago, Thomas Edison turned on our country’s first electric grid. Since then, electricity has been a driving force in the growth of America’s economic and social development.

The electric grid crisscrosses our nation, bringing light and power to homes and businesses from coast to coast. Coal has helped power America’s electric grid since 1882 and continues to play an important role today, providing nearly 40 percent of all electricity generated in the country.

To show just how impressive the electric grid really is, the Institute for Energy Research launched the Story of Electricity initiative yesterday:

With new EPA regulations putting the future of coal in jeopardy, the question facing us today is whether the United States’ power grid can adequately provide reliable, affordable electricity if coal is regulated out of existence. The unequivocal answer: absolutely not. The continued use of coal in our energy mix is critical to keep the lights on in America’s homes and businesses.

To keep our nation on the path toward an ever-brighter future powered by safe, affordable and reliable electricity, visit www.KeepAmericasPowerOn.com and take action today.


President Obama’s Record: Bypassing Congress Time & Time Again

Posted by Elizabeth Jennings at 4:17 pm, September 03, 2014

President Obama has become famous for his track record of bypassing Congress while in office, especially when it comes to achieving his regulatory agenda. According to the Washington Times, the president has worked around lawmakers 40 times this year, and a White House official recently said that the president would not let Congress stand in the way of any progress to be made. Is this how our forefathers envisioned our democratic process working?

Unfortunately, the president’s 2014 crusade of executive orders is far from over. As the administration prepares for climate talks in Paris next year, the president is looking to make a deal that would persuade other nations to reduce their carbon footprint. This informal treaty, which would commit other countries to meeting certain reduction goals at the risk of public embarrassment, would not have to be ratified by the Senate (where it would likely fail). Countries such as China and India refuse to sign such an agreement as it would hinder their economic development, and other national leaders have come out against the proposal. Recently, Prime Ministers Tony Abbott of Australia and Stephen Harper of Canada stated that they will not be following Obama’s lead, refusing to take actions that would deliberately harm jobs and economic growth.

I am beginning to wonder when the American people will come before the president’s pride during his last years in office. Why do we need to pay the price for years to come just so the president can fulfill his own environmental legacy? President Obama can put us on a better track for the future by withdrawing these harmful carbon regulations and sparing his constituents the financial burden—especially when the only gain is a reduction in sea level by less than five sheets of paper.


Message to EPA on Labor Day: Policies Must Create Jobs, Not Eliminate Them

Posted by Laura Sheehan at 11:17 am, September 02, 2014

Yesterday, American workers enjoyed a much-deserved day of rest. Here at America’s Power, we believe that job creation should be a national priority, and our advocacy efforts seek to protect and strengthen America’s workforce.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and EPA are pursuing a regulatory agenda that will have the exact opposite effect and if EPA’s proposed carbon regulations are left unchallenged, many workers will face a much more permanent break from work: unemployment.

EPA has repeatedly made the dubious claim that these new regulations for America’s power plants will create jobs through the construction and management of new energy efficient facilities. But America’s Power has done the math, and we can tell you that this assertion is simply not true. In fact, EPA’s proposed regulations stand to cause widespread job losses across many sectors of the U.S. economy.

What EPA fails to mention is that these construction jobs are only temporary, and few will be maintained once the facilities are built. More so, EPA completely neglected to address, let alone calculate, the hundreds of thousands of jobs that its proposal will eliminate.

America’s coal industry is a proven driver of economic development in cities and towns from coast to coast. Coal mining alone employs more than 80,000 Americans, with hundreds of thousands additional jobs tied to coal production through the manufacturing, electricity, and transportation industries.  It’s these skilled, high-quality jobs that EPA is going after. A myth-busting study by America’s Power revealed that, based on a proposal similar to EPA’s, as many as 178,000 jobs will be lost each year.

Yet, these estimates don’t even account for the job losses that will result from skyrocketing electricity prices for businesses across the U.S. Under EPA’s proposal, the agency will essentially bully states into choosing more expensive, less reliable energy sources in lieu of using affordable coal-based power. This costly switch will ultimately trickle down to businesses and force business owners to face a difficult decision: meet their payroll or pay their utility bills.

The facts don’t lie, and EPA’s proposal is putting America on a dangerous course toward job losses we can’t afford.

Join us in protecting America’s workforce – visit www.KeepAmericasPoweron.org to tell EPA that you support policies that create jobs, not eliminate them.