Sarah Palin continued her Fox News walk of shame out of big energy’s dorm room today defying all logic and statistics with a claim that President Obama is bankrupting the coal industry.
Here is the video from Media Matters [see article]
Palin said, “When you look at what Barack Obama is actually doing with killing the Keystone pipeline the part that he has authority over actually, and his mission of bankrupting coal companies which leads to less electricity in the US. The things that he’s actually doing, not just saying but actually doing are burdening our energy opportunities and making us more reliant on foreign sources.”
A recent Dow Jones ( also owned by News Corp) story found that while demand of coal in the United States is stagnating, there is a boom in demand for coal exports, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates 2011 exports surpassed 100 million short tons for the first time since 1992, and some market watchers expect exports to top that this year…Higher sales prices in Asia and Europe have made sending coal to those markets more attractive, while U.S. emissions regulations and competition from cheap natural gas limit domestic demand.”
Palin got her talking point from the coal industry. Big Coal is freaking out because late in March the EPA announced a rule that will require new power plants to limit their carbon dioxide emissions. The part Sarah Palin left out is that demand for coal was already declining in the United States because of competition from natural gas.
The coal industry isn’t being killed. It is being exported. This little fact debunks the myth championed by Sarah Palin and the right that we can drill or mine our way to energy independence. Just because we have coal or oil in this country doesn’t mean that it belongs to the United States. The coal belongs to the coal companies. They are free to sell it on the global market to any nation that is willing to pay.
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