COAL WAR: Biden locks up federal lands from coal mining, shuts down remaining coal-fired power generation fleet
05/30/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

President Joe Biden has just declared war on coal as his administration is seeking to "save the planet" from the dangers of "climate change" through greenhouse gas emissions from burning fuel.

The Bureau of Land Management has just released a new series of regulations that have the clear intent of locking up millions of acres of federal land from coal mining and drilling for oil and natural gas, as well as shutting down the nation's remaining coal-fired power generation fleet.

The new set of rules effectively makes it impossible for utilities to continue to operate coal-fired power plants without investing in new, largely unproven commercial and highly expensive, carbon capture technologies capable of cutting 95 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. It would also require the same for any new natural gas-powered facilities. However, existing natural gas facilities would be exempt from the requirement. The move will surely impact coal mining in the Powder River Basin in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming and other western reserves, which provide most of the nation’s thermal coal used for energy production. (Related: DISMANTLING ENERGY: Biden administration to halt future coal leasing in Powder River Basin.)

The regulations were issued, incidentally, days before the close of a window of time allowing a new president to reverse the decision by executive order. With the timing, any reversal submitted by the incoming chief executive will have to come through action by both houses of Congress or by litigation in court.

Real Clear Wire's Emily Arthun commented that the measure obviously has one major intent – to force the shutdown of the nation's coal-fired generation fleet, starving it of much of its fuel source and making it economically impossible to continue to operate these units. "They will drive already staggering electric bills out of reach for millions of American families, leaving them struggling with the choice of putting food on the table or heating and cooling their homes. Many of those on fixed incomes, such as retirees on social security, will be the hardest hit," Arthun wrote. Moreover, the closure of baseload generation could likely push the electric grid past the breaking point during the very times when they need electricity the most. De facto rationing of energy is not far-fetched.

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The rules were released in response to a 2022 court order that said two federal land management plans drafted for the Powder River Basin during former President Donald Trump's administration had reportedly "failed to adequately take into account climate change and public health problems caused by burning coal."

Meanwhile, the Spring Creek Mine, another Montana mine, could run out of federal coal reserves by 2035. This forecast is more than 50 years earlier than if leases were to continue being issued, according to government analyses of the proposal.

Fourteen active coal mines in the region in 2022 produced almost 260 million short tons of coal, about 40 percent of total U.S. production. Wyoming is the nation's top coal producer, accounting for 41 percent of the country's total supply. West Virginia is second at 14 percent.

Biden’s war with coal will murder jobs

Not only that the shutting down of coal mining and power plants could make consumers' pockets empty and put the power grid in danger, especially during summer and winter, this could drive inflation even higher and force many companies to shut down.

Worse, employees will lose jobs and could cost Wyoming hundreds of millions of dollars that pay for public schools, roads and other essential services. The coal industry supports more than 36,000 full and part-time jobs nationwide.

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new set of rules are seen as unrealistic by some critics. The new EPA regulations will require the nation's coal plants to "install carbon capture technology if they plan to continue operating past 2039." Coal plants will specifically be mandated to capture 90 percent of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2032 or face closure. The rules will further force these plants to reduce mercury emissions by 70 percent.

American Petroleum Institute Vice President Dustin Meyer claimed that the EPA rules "fail to properly consider grid reliability and the need for new natural gas plants to maintain that reliability." Edison Electric Institute President and CEO Dan Brouillette further reiterated the impossibility of the administration's demands by explaining that current technology "is not yet ready for full-scale, economy-wide deployment, nor is there sufficient time to permit, finance and build" the infrastructure for compliance.

West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a ranking member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, noted that "electricity demand is set to skyrocket thanks in part to the EPA's own electric vehicles mandate, and unfortunately, Americans are already paying higher utility bills under President Biden." She added that, despite this, Biden chose to go ahead with his "unrealistic climate agenda that threatens access to affordable, reliable energy for households and employers across the country."

Head over to to read news related to governments' active push to shift to renewable energy sources.

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