White House Economists Commit Political Malpractice to Keep Coal in Ground

Washington, D.C. ̶ Today’s report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors is the latest assault from the “Keep It in the Ground” movement. This collaboration between the Obama administration and extreme environmental interests again demonstrates the White House working overtime to advance more job crushing and market distorting policies.

Coal is the largest source of electricity generation in the U.S., and coal mined from the federal coal lease program last year accounted for more than 44 percent of that total. To raise costs on the U.S. economy by deliberately creating a less diverse, less affordable energy supply constitutes political malpractice.

There is no legitimate rationale for freezing coal leases and raising royalty rates on federal coal leases that are already valued above market. Discouraging production from federal lands and from further investment in this valuable energy resource will put at risk Americans’ most reliable, abundant and affordable source of energy.

The loss of coal-generated revenue is already prompting some states to cut spending for schools, healthcare and infrastructure, or raise taxes. Keeping coal in the ground will be especially painful for low-income and fixed-income families struggling to pay their energy bills. The impact on working Americans already facing a bleak job market will be severe, adding to the more than 67,000 coal mining jobs lost just since 2011.

Americans should have access to affordable energy, powered by a diverse mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear power, oil and renewable sources. The loss of this advantage will be an enduring and regrettable legacy of this administration and its enablers.

Today’s White House report was released in conjunction with Resources for the Future, which recently released its own flawed report on coal: “Evaluation of the Immediate Impact of the Clean Power Plan Rule on the Coal Industry. ” For NMA’s response to that report, see here.