Right Hooks

Coal Monolith Tumbles; Obama to Blame

Obama has played a direct hand in the coal industry's demise.

Dan Gilmore · Jan. 13, 2016

This is what Barack Obama’s regulations do in the real world. The nation’s second largest coal company, Arch Coal, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, seeking to strike $4.5 billion in debt from its ledgers. In an industry struggling and bleeding jobs, one of the monoliths has fallen. The cause of death was in part the rise of natural gas. The energy source has overtaken coal and become the nation’s go-to source of energy and China’s coal industry has been a stiff competitor (no thanks to Obama’s climate change agenda). But the Obama administration has also played a direct hand in the coal industry’s demise. His Environmental “Protection” Agency has rocked the industry with round after round of regulation in its war on coal. Of course, the markets go round and round. Arch Coal, which went into debt in 2011 acquiring another coal company, might have been able to ride out this economic slump. But as The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board notes, Obama regulations will exist until — by slender chance — a future administration realizes the economic harm they have on the nation. Even now, that economic harm will be felt. WSJ’s editorial board says, “Even after recent declines in market share, coal-fired plants still provide roughly a third or more of American electricity. So utility customers will notice the coal carnage when they see their monthly bills — or perhaps when the lights don’t go on. But for now the pain is concentrated among those who used to work in the coal fields. They are still waiting for all those new green jobs Mr. Obama has been promising since he arrived in Washington.”

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