I'm having a strange bedfellows moment. Both a labor union leader and the Wall Street Journal editorial page agree on something: EPA's proposed greenhouse gas rule is a job-killer.
Let's start with United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts. To say he is slightly agitated would be an understatement. Earlier this week, he didn't hold back when he lashed out at EPA’s new proposed greenhouse gas rule that will, in essence, ban new coal power plants. He told West Virginia radio listeners that “This rule is an all-out, in my opinion, decision by the EPA that we’re never going to have another coal-fired facility in the United States that’s constructed.” The carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that would allow new coal-fired plants to operate "is not commercially available," said Roberts.
Agreeing with Roberts is the Wall Street Journal editorial page. It points out that this proposed rule will eventually cover all coal-fired power plants. They explain how this will happen:
Whenever a plant upgrades—whether installing a new fan blade or replacing the proverbial toilet seat—it must comply with every rule on the books. So as a utility obeys the mercury rule, say, it will also be caught in the pincer movement of these new carbon performance standards. The green lobby knows this will slowly kill even current coal plants over time.
Both agree that thousands of mining jobs in states like Virginia, West Virgina, and Ohio, will be lost because of this regulation. And that doesn't include the jobs lost when coal-fired power plants close.
When a labor union, the world's most prominent business newspaper, and the business community are all on the same page, that should tell you how extreme EPA's proposed rule is. It's more evidence that, despite what Vice President Biden said, this isn’t the best energy policy ever.