Coal rules will be costly

Recently, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced new government limits on coal-fired power plants. Because the rules require use of prohibitively expensive, unproven technology, they will have the effect of banning use of coal at new generating stations.

Next summer, the EPA will follow up with new rules on existing coal-fired power plants. It is probable they will be aimed at closing such facilities as quickly as possible.

McCarthy and her boss, President?Barack Obama, insist the EPA’s ongoing campaign against the coal industry will make it healthier. That is a bit like a bully maintaining that every beating he administers will make the victim stronger in the long run.

“Alternative” energies such as wind and solar power – exempted by Obama from some of the very same rules fossil-fuel plants must obey – are the wave of the future, the White House claims. And power plants fueled by natural gas can replace coal-fired units right now, the administration adds.

Solar and wind power are extravagantly expensive and cannot replace fossil fuels in anything but the least demanding power grid environments. Replacing hundreds of coal-fired generating units with gas machinery will send the price of gas, then power, skyrocketing.

If Obama is allowed to proceed, tens of millions of Americans will see higher electric bills – perhaps, in the long run, double what they are now.

Congress should stop the madness – now.