In 2008, the only war that presidential candidate Obama embraced was the one on the American coal industry.

So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

It appears this is the sole successful Obama campaign, too. And Obama’s victory has been even more spectacular than he could have anticipated.

Instead of killing of new coal companies, the “green house gas” regulations and the move to natural gas has led the Chapter 11 filings by major and well-established American coal producers.

Coal’s slow collapse pushed the largest U.S. miner to declare bankruptcy Wednesday, marking the end of an era for big publicly traded companies that have fueled American industry for more than a century.

The bankruptcy of St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. came after similar filings by Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy Inc., all of which have recently sought chapter 11 protection.

Those companies have lost a combined $30 billion in stock-market value since 2010, and the coal sector has shed 31,000 jobs since 2009, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Fast forward to 2016: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is confronted at a campaign stop in West Virginia by a laid-off coal worker over her statement about putting his employers out of business.

Clinton was participating in a panel with local residents and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin when she was asked a question by Bo Copley:

“I just want to know how you can say you’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of, out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you’re going to be our friend, because those people out there don’t see you as a friend,” Copley said, sometimes breaking into tears, as the chants of the protesters were heard outside.

Clinton however said her comments in March were a “misstatement,” and that she has been talking about helping out coal country “for a very long time.”

A quick trip through the Youtube vaults shows video looking quite sincere as she said it.

Of course, Clinton and sincerity are not exactly on speaking terms…so there is that.

As Donald Trump goes forward as the presumptive Republican nominee, he has an opportunity to make the case that Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” and Hillary’s attitude hit minorities hardest:

Harry Alford is co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, offers his assessment:

Higher energy bills, fewer jobs, lower incomes and more poverty: That’s what lies in store for already struggling black, Hispanic and other minority families if the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is allowed to go into effect.

Enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and unveiled last year, the plan seeks to impose unrealistically strict new limits on carbon monoxide emissions that would shutter most of our nation’s existing energy grid. In order to meet the plan’s requirements, power companies would have to build expensive new facilities and rely on more expensive energy sources than the all-of-the-above energy mix they use today. Ultimately, those costs would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher electricity bills and higher consumer prices.

Those consequences would affect black and minority families more than any other demographic. A study commissioned by my National Black Chamber of Commerce estimated the new regulations would increase black and Hispanic poverty rates by 23 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Generally, minorities have lower-paying jobs that are the first to be affected when business costs rise, such as higher electricity bills. In fact, the study showed that blacks, Hispanics and other minorities would lose more than 11 million jobs in urban communities nationwide if the Clean Power Act is implemented.

Frankly, I am looking forward to January 20, 2017, when there is a cease fire War on Coal and the rest of American business.


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