While no one wants to see any retirees lose benefits, Mrs. Clinton seems to have forgotten that for the last seven years, this administration has played a significant role in driving this industry into bankruptcy. As a cabinet member, she had a front row seat for President Barack Obama’s “war on coal.” And, now she wants to curry favor with the American coal miner.
People who understand politics know that nothing happens by chance. Mrs. Clinton didn’t happen upon a retiree rally and decide to take up the charge against “Big Coal.” She was setting the stage. As this edition was going to press, all of the major news outlets were reporting that Mrs. Clinton had rolled out a $30 billion plan to support coal communities and mitigate the effects of the shift to cleaner energy sources. Although no one had an actual copy of it, the plan will reportedly include federal investments in infrastructure, job training and will extend tax credits to coal communities.
What was available on her website was “Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power – Briefing Fact Sheet.” In it Mrs. Clinton demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of electric power generation and distribution. As president, she would set two national goals: (1) install more than half a billion solar panels across the country, and (2) drive the U.S. to generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.
Her renewable vision plainly stated: Hillary Clinton will make it a top priority to fight efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Readers should note that our lead story in news this month reported that 22 states (along with many others) are currently suing the Obama administration over the CPP.
Two other points in the renewable vision will work against fossil fuel and mineral production. Mrs. Clinton will ensure that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe (more regulation) and responsible (permitting delays) and that taxpayers get a fair deal for development on public lands (more royalties), and that areas that are too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table (permit revocations).
As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton built a global effort to combat climate change, making it a key U.S. foreign policy priority. She appointed the first Special Envoy for Climate Change to make the issue a top priority in U.S. diplomacy. She created the Climate and Clean Air Coalition global initiative for the 2009 U.N. Copenhagen Accord.
Mrs. Clinton won coal-producing regions overwhelmingly during the 2008 primary. Just as she has on other issues, she has changed her story. In one of her campaign speeches, Mrs. Clinton was quoted as saying, “As president, I will make sure America stands with coalfield communities and families.” Just as she did with Peabody, the coal communities should call on Mrs. Clinton to “Do the Right Thing.”
Steve Fiscor, Coal Age Editor-in-Chief