Sixteen states, with many more on the way, have already banded together to pursue legal action to stop the implementation of Barack Obama’s “Clean Power Plan”. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania won’t be joining the party.
Governor Tom Wolf, in fact, rushed to release a statement last week in supporting the president after he announced the final rule that unrealistically slashes carbon emissions at power plants. The governor’s assurance to work “with industry leaders and legislators as well as citizens to find the right balance and develop and effective and responsible state plan,” doesn’t alter the objective of the president’s plan.
The potential loss to Pennsylvania is staggering. The coal industry, in this commonwealth alone, sustains 36,000 jobs at an average salary of $79,127 a year, according to figures compiled by the Pennsylvania Economy League. The industry adds $4 billion to the economy, as coal remains a vital part of keeping energy affordable.
In recent testimony before the state Senate, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO John Pippy, explained that coal provides a strong supply of baseload electricity, safeguarding ratepayers against spikes in demand and rapid price increases. This allows energy-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, to be able to forecast pricing and do business in Pennsylvania because of the predictable and reliable market.