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Today’s Senate Vote on Coal is about much more than Coal

19 Jun

On  Wednesday the Senate is scheduled to vote on Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe’s S.J. Res. 37, which would overturn Utility MACT, which requires “Maximum Achievable Control Technology” for mercury at coal-fired power plants. But it is about far more than Coal or controlling mercury emmissions. It is about allowing the president and his administration to once again bypass Congress and move his agenda forward by manipulating regulatory and executive power.

Phil Kerpen of American Commitment spells it out in a Washington Times op-ed:

The president’s Dream Act-by-dictate provides the latest evidence of this administration’s determination to push its agenda through without respect to Congress, the Constitution or the rule of law. While there are enough examples to fill a book (which I wrote and titled “Democracy Denied”), the most outrageous of all is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being used to advance an extreme anti-energy agenda that the American people decisively rejected when Mr. Obama proposed it as cap-and-trade. Wednesday we’ll find out where every U.S. senator stands.

In 2008, Barack Obama explained his energy policy: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad.” He went on to explain, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

That plan was utterly repudiated by the American people. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to narrowly grease it through the House with hundreds of pages of corrupt special-interest provisions, but the Senate refused to even bring it up for a vote. Dozens of House Democrats who voted for it were turned out of office largely because of that vote. One coal-state Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, won a Senate seat by literally shooting a bullet through the bill in a campaign spot called “Dead Aim.”

Yet the day after the 2010 election, Mr. Obama said, “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end.”

The following week, the Center for American Progress released a report, complete with a cover letter from Obama transition co-chairman John Podesta, outlining ways in which Mr. Obama should bypass Congress and move his agenda forward by manipulating regulatory and executive power. Mr. Podesta’s report specifically recommended a regulation purporting to regulate mercury as a way to shut down coal plants and advance the global warming agenda.

Each senator will either vote to let Mr. Obama govern by regulatory decree and make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket,” or reject Mr. Obama’s plan and take responsibility as a legislator.

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