August 5, 2015

Obama’s Latest Job-Killing Climate Rules: Bad News For Rust Belt Democrats

Senate Democrats are eager to win back a majority in 2016, but President Obama made their job considerably more difficult this week when he announced new EPA regulations that will result in higher unemployment, hikes in electricity bills, and serious layoffs to the coal industry.

Obama’s edict is particularly troublesome for Democrats in Pennsylvania, which is the 4th largest coal producing state in the country, and Ohio, which relies on coal for 67% of its electricity. Politico has more:

The tougher coal standards Obama announced Monday will force major adjustments to power companies in Michigan, Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania — the battleground states Democrats usually need to win the White House. That gives conservatives ample ammunition to insist once again that Democratic leadership will drive up energy prices and wipe out thousands of jobs, a theme that contributed to big losses for the president’s party in the last two midterm elections.

While Democrats Ted Strickland (D-OH) and Katie McGinty (D-PA) have yet to weigh in on these specific regulations, their records show that they’re sure to be in lockstep with President Obama on this issue.

For Ohio, Strickland’s support of these EPA regulations means “the closing of hundreds of coal-fired power plants” and “no new coal plants are built in the United States.” But with Strickland’s abysmal jobs record as governor (Ohio lost 400,000 when Strickland was governor), his support of this measure would be no surprise.

In Pennsylvania, McGinty’s failed campaign for governor in 2014 (complete with an endorsement from Al Gore) tells you all you need to know about her priorities. McGinty proudly declared she would “redouble the environmental boots on the ground” and put “a very serious environmental cop on the beat,” if elected governor.

Soon enough Democrats in these states will need to publicly declare where they stand on these issues, and you can be sure voters will be listening with their jobs and pocketbooks in mind.