President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work expeditiously to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants. In April 2012, the Obama administration proposed a carbon pollution standard for new power plants. The plan also calls for a reduction in methane. The plan also promotes the expansion of renewable energy sources and fuel switching from oil and coal to natural gas or renewables. The plan envisions natural gas, which is about one-half as carbon-intensive as coal, as a “bridge fuel” as the world transitions to even cleaner sources of energy.

In a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama insulted those who oppose the plan. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society,” Obama said. He said he would direct the EPA to put an end to the bottomless dumping of carbon pollution from power plants.

“In today’s announcement, President Obama called America’s reliance on coal a “mistake,” dismissing the accomplishments of generations of coal miners that have worked to make the United States the greatest country in the world,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “By announcing imminent restrictions on carbon emissions from power plants that exceed the capabilities of current technology, this administration will impose bureaucratic mandates with no regard for the people and communities of West Virginia that depend on coal and the inexpensive energy it creates for their very existence and survival.”

Make no mistake, this administration’s new climate initiative will result in higher electric bills for consumers and businesses and lead to America’s economic disarmament via U.S. manufacturing jobs relocating to other nations, Raney said.

“Today’s announcement is only the latest effort in this administration’s war on coal, which is—by extension—a war on Southwest Virginia and all coal-producing regions, our economy, our jobs and our people,” said U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-R). “President Obama and his administration have long been waging this war, but today, his comments and the comments of adviser Daniel P. Schrag saying ‘…a war on coal is exactly what’s needed’ make it clear that the president wants to destroy the coal industry, the use of coal, and a huge segment of our economy.”

“It comes as no surprise that the president plans to implement these changes without Congressional input and approval,” said U.S. Representative Dr. Phil Roe (TN-R). “While some American families are struggling to put food on the table, this misguided plan will raise energy costs, continue the president’s war on the coal industry and cost billions of dollars. I agree that we must be good stewards of the environment, but this plan is not the answer.”

A War on Coal petition is now circulating for those who want to take action: