Last week, we witnessed the latest round of victims in the war on coal, with Georgia Power Co. announcing its plans to shutter 15 fossil-fuel-fired electric units, impacting nearly 500 jobs in the state.
Georgia Power explained that the high cost of new EPA rules, including the rule setting maximum achievable control technology (known as Utility MACT) standards, was a contributing factor for the closures. Sadly, it is just one of several companies that have cited a hostile regulatory environment as a reason for layoffs in the past year. When Ohio American Energy Inc. announced it was shutting down mining operations in Brilliant, Ohio, the company's news release cited "regulatory actions by President Barack Obama and his appointees" as the "entire reason" for the mine's closure and layoffs, which will impact 240 workers. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. recently announced it would eliminate 1,200 jobs companywide as a result of mine closures in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, stating the decision was due in part to "a regulatory environment that's aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal."