The sweeping nature of President Obama's proposed regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants is likely to open his initiative to serious legal challenges. To date, however, the courts have given the federal government wide latitude in regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act.
I expect this to be a big part of our Tea Party Senate candidate's platform this year. I'll be hearing all about Obama's "war on coal" and how this hurts job creators until I want to punch something, I expect.
It makes my head hurt, because it's so damn short sighted. Jobs become obsolete over time - it's just how it is. We don't pay people to quarry ice for refrigerators, horse buggies are a niche industry, bottled soda put soda jerks out of business, and we rarely pay actual humans to operate elevators because their computers can handle deciding which floors to stop on.
It sucks for the job holders, but those jobs are replaced by new jobs in new industries. New types of power plants or expansion in cleaner types means more jobs. Rather than bemoan the loss of the coal industry, why not take the savings in not having to clean up coal waste on the taxpayers' dime and use it to retrain workers, at least those few whose skillsets don't apply to any other industry?
Jeez, even if you're a hardcorde climate change skeptic, you can't deny having fewer coal plants and mines dumping arsenic and mercury into the water is a net positive for the human race.