"This map is comprised of data collected and maintained by the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, and is part of the Club's ongoing campaign to wean the United States off coal, a dirty fossil fuel."
"The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra," President Obama declared two years ago this past weekend.
That statement was already doubtful in May, 2010, when Obama visited the solar panel manufacturer's Fremont, Calif., headquarters between political fundraisers, to celebrate the $500 million it had received in taxpayer-funded stimulus cash.
Today, with Solyndra's operations shuttered, its employees laid-off and its assets (including those paid for by taxpayers') divvied up among creditors in bankruptcy, Obama's statement from two years ago makes for a good laugh. Unfortunately, it isn't so funny for the operators of America's real economic engines -- the businesses out there that use energy and do not require government handouts for their day-to-day survival.
Even as he has shoveled stimulus cash into green losers like Solyndra, Beacon Power and others, Obama's EPA has been working hard to keep his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices "necessarily skyrocket" for winning businesses that employ Americans.
If you wonder how Obama could perform so poorly in his primaries against non-entity challengers in Appalachian states like Kentucky and West Virginia, look no further than the president's war on coal. A number of recent EPA rules issued by the Obama administration are shutting down coal-fired power plants, to the delight of environmental extremists in his base. The left-wing group Beyond Coal has gleefully posted a tally online of how many coal-fired plants have shut down so far -- 110 out of 522, or 13 percent of all coal-based electric capacity in the United States.
Two rules in particular -- the Utility MACT rule and a rule on coal ash -- will place a $31 billion annual burden on the U.S. economy, according to EPA's own estimates, which will ultimately be borne by consumers and ratepayers.
The consequences of this regulatory demolition go far beyond the coal industry itself....