Energy Prices are High and Dems Are Making it Worse

June 17, 2011

Democrats’ Anti-Energy Policies Are Destroying Jobs, Costing Consumers, and Stifling Growth

  • New data shows rising inflation putting the pinch on families and businesses, driven by rising energy costs.
  • Instead of working to relieve the pressure on American families, Democrats and their EPA are pushing policies that would make things worse, increasing electricity rates at a time when families and small businesses can least afford it.
  • The EPA’s hostility to job creation is so intense that some say Obama’s EPA is engaged in a “war on jobs.”




The latest consumer price index released Wednesday showed inflation pinching families across multiple sectors of consumer goods, no doubt driven in part by high energy prices:


INFLATION PINCHING FAMILIES, AS CONSUMER PRICE INDEX INCREASES: “The consumer-price index increased 0.2 percent, compared with the 0.1 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The so-called core measure, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, climbed 0.3 percent, the biggest increase since July 2008.” (Jeff Sutherland, “U.S. Stock Futures Extend Losses on Data,” Bloomberg, 6/15/2011)


As consumers suffer, however, Democrats aren’t making their lives easier. In fact, Democrats are supporting policies that would make things worse, increasing electricity rates at a time when small businesses and families can least afford it:


OBAMA’S EPA WOULD SHUT DOWN FIVE WV POWER PLANTS WITH BURDENSOME NEW REGULATIONS: Although some jobs would be created from the installation of emissions reduction equipment, AEP expects a net loss of approximately 600 power plant jobs with annual wages totaling approximately $40 million as a result of compliance with the proposed EPA rules.” (Ken Ward Jr., “AEP Would Shutter 5 Coal Plants to Meet EPA Rules,” The Charleston Gazette, 6/9/2011)

“Consumers could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40 to 60 percent in the next few years.


“The reason: Pending environmental regulations will make coal-fired generating plants, which produce about half the nation’s electricity, more expensive to operate. Many are expected to be shuttered.” (Julie Wernau, “Consumers’ Electric Bills Likely to Spike As Coal Plants Close,” The Chicago Tribune, 6/11/2011)


NEW STUDY: OBAMA REGULATIONS COULD RAISE CAR PRICES BY AS MUCH AS $10,000, DESTROY 260,000 JOBS: “Sharply higher fuel efficiency standards by 2025 could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs, according to a study by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research. … The EPA and NHTSA will finalize the new requirements by July 2012, after getting public comment.” (David Shephardson, “Study: Fuel Rules to Hike Car Costs,” The Detroit News, 6/15/2011)

DEMOCRATS’ REGULATIONS AND TAXES TO BLAME FOR SMALL BUSINESSES’ WORST HIRING FORECAST IN 8 MONTHS: “The federation’s report for May showed the worst hiring prospects in eight months. The finding provides a glimpse into the pessimism of the nation’s small firms as they put together their budgets for the coming season, and depicts a more gloomy outlook than other recent (if equally lackluster) economic indicators because this one is forward-looking. …


“When asked about the ‘single most important problem’ facing their businesses, about one in four cited ‘poor sales,’ according to the federation’s survey. Uncertainty over regulations is also mentioned frequently. About a third of businesses blame either ‘taxes’ or ‘government requirements’ for their current troubles…” (Catherine Rampall, “A Slowdown for Small Business,” The New York Times, 6/15/2011)


The EPA’s hostility to job creation has been so overt that business leaders and editorial boards have decried the agency’s “war on jobs”:


WSJ: EPA ENGAGING IN “WAR ON JOBS,” PUSHING “MOST EXPENSIVE” RULE IN AGENCY HISTORY: “The EPA is currently conducting a campaign against coal-fired power and one of its most destructive weapons is a pending regulation to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollutants like dioxins or acid gases that power plants emit. …


The real goal of the EPA’s rule is to shut down fossil fuel electric power in the name of climate change. The consensus estimate in the private sector is that the utility rule and eight others on the EPA docket will force the retirement of 60 out of the country’s current 340 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity. Reliability downgrades will hit the South and Midwest where coal energy is concentrated. American Electric Power recently announced that the rules will force it to shut down five plants in West Virginia and Ohio, a quarter of its coal fleet.” (Editorial, “EPA’s War on Jobs,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/13/2011)


HOME DEPOT FOUNDER: EPA IS DESTROYING SMALL BUSINESS:“Overregulation, unfair taxes, and new mandates, like the controversial healthcare bill, are choking these job-creating businesses before they can get off the ground. … They need relief from the alphabet soup of regulations that stifles them and therefore chokes hiring.


“From the EPA to the FDA, from the IRS to Sarbanes Oxley, regulations disproportionally affect the smallest firms, drowning America’s entrepreneurs in red tape.” (Bernie Marcus, “True Job Creators Need A Voice,” Real Clear Politics, 6/15/2011)


Meanwhile, Democrats are squandering opportunities to increase American energy independence and raise domestic energy production. The Obama administration has kept in place a de-facto moratorium on offshore energy exploration that is limiting our ability to create more here at home. When will Democrats stop standing in the way of more jobs and more American-made energy?:


“The back-to-back discoveries should draw even more attention to what many industry players believe is one of the world’s most promising oil hotspots. The lower tertiary formation, lying deep under the Gulf, is estimated by analysts to hold upwards of 15 billion barrels of crude oil. However, exploration of the area has been extremely limited over the past year in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in April 2010. And despite the lifting of the ban on deep water drilling, some in the industry has argued that a de-facto moratorium is still in place, with 60% less permits issued by the US government since October than were regularly being issued prior to the spill.(Robert Sullivan, “Giant Exxon Discovery Could Change Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Outlook,” Resource Investing News, 6/13/2011)