Part of the hope the Romney campaign offered was a comprehension of the role energy plays in the American economy—especially energy that is abundant, affordable, and available. He made “energy” the number one point of his five-point plan. During his now-unsuccessful bid for the White House, he met with industry leaders from a variety of sectors to determine what would unleash job growth and economic development.
Those meetings, and America’s current predicament, brought about a transformation in his thinking and resulted in specific agendas designed to roll back the Obama Administration’s onerous regulations—specifically those imposed by Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Many of the EPA regulations, such as the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants and Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule, are particularly destructive to the coal industry. Understanding the death knell the Obama Administrations’ regulations were issuing to the coal industry and, more particularly, the miners and their families in Appalachia, the region rallied around Romney.
On Friday, November 9, a coal industry newsletter stated: “In President Barack Obama’s second term, U.S. coal producers are bracing for tighter regulation of everything from emissions from coal-burning plants, to coal ash, to respirable coal dust in mines, to Appalachian surface-mining activities. … One example is the U.S. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, one of the most costly rules in EPA history.”
In her book Regulating to Disaster, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth describes the regulations this way:
“The Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants rule will make electricity generation far more complex and expensive, especially in the eastern half of the United States. It will require the closure of many coal- and oil-fired power plants, and placement of emissions control equipment on others.”