Durbin votes to kill coal-producing jobs and plants in IL

June 22, 2012

As noted in my Illinois Review post of Wednesday, June 20, that day a vote for Senator James Inhofe’s S.J. Resolution 37 was scheduled to be brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote, only to be summarily voted down on a mostly partisan vote.

Inhofe’s resolution would have prevented the EPA from implementing “Utility MACT” which has been described as the most economically devastating regulation in its 42-year history. 

Unfortunately, neither the announcement of the proposed U.S. Senate vote on Wednesday, June 20, or the results were thought important enough to report in the Chicagoland media. 

I read about the defeat of Inhofe’s S.J. Resolution 37 on-line in the Wyoming Business Report, in which Wyoming’s two Republican senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, were cited as voting down Utility MACT with its requirement that coal plants use Maximum Achievable control Technology in plant operations. 

Senator Enzi described Inhofe’s proposal as “the only legislative vehicle available to stop the Utility MACT rule from moving forward.”

According to Senator Barrasso, now that MACT has been allowed to proceed, its mandated greenhouse gas standards will make it virtually impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in the United State, while many in existence will have to be shut down.

One study by the National Economic Research Associates estimates the Utility MACT rule will result in the loss of between 180,000 and 215,000 job losses by 2015, further increasing electricity rates by 6.5% on average and and as much as 19.1 percent in some areas of the country. 

Inhofe’s resolution to defeat MACT failed, 46 to 53, mostly along party lines.  Even so five Democrats from coal-rich states voted with Senate Republicans.   Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was not among them. 

Isn’t Illinois also a state rich in coal?  Isn’t Durbin concerned about job losses in Illinois’s coal mining communities or the increase in electric costs when coal plants here in Illinois close their door when they can’t meet the stringent standards.  Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) didn’t vote. 

It is five Republican senators, however, that must be held accountable for providing the fatal votes against stopping Utility MACT, having sided with those have bought into the “consensus” theory that rejects hard scientific facts proving otherwise, that CO2 emissions — what we breathe and what plants need to live — is at the root of causing man-made global warming.  

They are: Lamar Alexander (Tennessee); Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire); Scott Brown (Massachusetts); Susan Collins (Maine); and Olympia Snowe (Maine).

It is rather strange that four of the five Republicans who voted to keep MACT in place are from northeastern state with brutal winters that require heat to keep warm.

Doesn’t Senator Durbin realize that IL is a coal state as well as a cold state during its winter season?

Illinois’s mandated wind and solar power just won’t do to provide Illinoisans with their ever increasing future energy needs!

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