WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today took to the Senate floor to blast President Obama’s plan to devastate Montana’s coal industry and the good-paying jobs it provides.
Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.
Daines made the following remarks on the Senate floor this morning:
“Yesterday, President Obama and his Employment Prevention Agency continued to wage their war on American energy, American families and American jobs.
“As President Obama was announcing his plan to devastate Montana’s coal industry and the good-paying jobs it provides, yet another coal company filed for bankruptcy.
“At the same time, J.E. Corette Power Plant in Billings is being dismantled in the aftermath of President Obama’s previous anti-coal regulations.
“In addition to supporting 30 jobs, the Corette power plant powered tens of thousands of Montana homes and contributed several million dollars in tax revenue to Montana and Yellowstone County every year.
“Over the past year, Montanans have braced themselves for the release of the Obama administration’s final regulations, which were already set to wreak havoc on our coal industry and make construction of any new coal-fired plant virtually impossible.
“The proposed rule was bad. The final rule is even more devastating to Montana jobs and Montana families.
“The final rule announced by the Obama administration makes the retirement of existing coal-fired power plants inevitable within the next few decades.
“The rules moved the goal posts, and to the wrong end of the field.
“These rules will most likely lead to the shuttering of Montana’s Colstrip Power Plant and countless others across the nation.
“It would be devastating for our economy and hardworking families across our state.
“Energy rates will increase.
“Thousands of family-wage jobs would be lost.
“Critical tax revenue for schools and roads would evaporate.
“In the Obama administration’s final rule, they took an already bad rule and made it even worse.
“The so-called Clean Power Plan forces Montana to achieve even more aggressive standards than originally proposed.
“According to POLITICO — in 2012, Montana produced 2,481 carbon pounds per megawatt-hour.
“Under the President’s plan, by 2030 he wants Montana to produce only 1,305 carbon pounds per megawatt-hour.
“That is a 47.4 percent reduction in Montana’s carbon emissions.
“In Montana, more than of half our electricity comes from coal.
“Coal also powers good-paying jobs for thousands of Montanans, including Montana tribal members and union workers, and generates nearly $120 million in tax revenue every year.
“America is poised to lead the world’s energy needs.
“This will be done through innovation, not more regulations.
“The Obama administration’s regulations are completely out-of-touch with global realities.
“Global demand for coal-fired energy will not disappear even if the United States were to shut down every last coal mine and coal-fired power plant.
“Nations like China, Korea and Japan will continue using coal, as it is reliable and affordable.
“Those nations should be powered by cleaner Montana coal.
“Rather than dismissing this reality, the United States should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development and leading the way in promoting the use of clean, affordable American energy.
“According to International Energy Agency’s 2013 data, the world consumes about 6 billion metric tons of steam coal for power generation.
“Of that, the US consumes about 750 million metric tons.
“That means that the U.S. consumes about 12 percent, with the rest of the world consuming 88 percent.
“As the world sees an increased demand for power, it’s clear we need to be leading the way in clean coal and energy innovation.
“America can and should power the world – but we can only do it if the Obama administration steps back from its out-of-touch regulations and allows American innovation to thrive once again.”