By Tom Borelli
There is a propaganda epidemic raging through the Obama Administration.
President Obama initiated the misinformation campaign in his economic speech in Illinois last week when he said, “With an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”
Soon after, the new heads of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency initiated their own propaganda campaign by denying Obama’s war on coal.
At a recent breakfast meeting sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “There’s no war on coal.”
In an interview with The New York Times, new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said:
“We don’t have a war on coal,” she said. “We’re doing our business, which is to reduce pollution. We’re following the law.”
McCarthy elaborated on her false claim by denying a relationship between EPA regulations and coal-fired plant closings. According to The Washington Post:
In an interview Tuesday, McCarthy said the utility-closing announcements came far in advance of any EPA rule requirements. “It’s hard for me to think our rule is the driving factor behind these closures,” she said. “This is about the abundance of low-cost natural gas. It’s about how utilities are making decisions, company-wide, about how to invest in the future the way they see it right now.”
McCarthy is wrong and she knows it.
The New York Times reported that American Electric Power decided to close its Big Sandy coal-fired power plant in Kentucky instead of making a $1 billion investment in pollution controls to bring it in compliance with new EPA rules. The upgrade would have resulted in a 30 percent increase in utility rates.
Big Sandy this year became a symbol of the plight of the coal industry nationwide. Strict new environmental regulations are forcing large utilities to spend billions of dollars to retrofit old coal-burning plants or shut them down, replacing them in most cases with equipment that uses cleaner-burning natural gas.
As the Big Sandy example shows EPA regulations are the driving forcing behind coal plants closing.
What’s phony is an Executive Branch filled with officials that will say anything to distract the country from the truth.