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Ala. farmers & manufacturers recognize PSC as last line of defense against enviro extremists

Chip Beeker, Republican candidate for Ala. Public Service Commission - Place 2
Chip Beeker, Republican candidate for Ala. Public Service Commission – Place 2

By: Chip Beeker

An out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency committed to killing Alabama jobs and eradicating one of our most important industries, a liberal president determined to circumvent Congress and the U.S. Constitution in order to aid that mission, and a group of environmental extremists working to cause utility rates in our state to skyrocket to record levels.

Those are three of the factors that compelled me to qualify to run as a conservative Republican candidate for the Place 2 position on the Public Service Commission.

It is no secret that D.C. bureaucrats in the Environmental Protection Agency, at the prompting of the Obama administration, have targeted Alabama’s coal industry for elimination and are working with their liberal grassroots allies to achieve that goal. With no regard for the 16,000 miners, workers, and families that depend upon the coal industry for their livelihoods, the EPA is determined to shut down this vital portion of our state’s economy.

Pulling the EPA’s strings like a puppet master is Barack Obama who has publicly stated his intent to use executive orders and agency regulations to circumvent the defenses that Congressional Republicans have built against his job-killing environmental efforts.

And right here, in Alabama, is a group of left-wing environmentalists who are pushing policies that will harm our economic development efforts, cause extreme hardships in family budgets, and result in across-the-board job losses in every sector.

I cannot stand idly by and watch Obama’s harmful policies take root here, and I have pledged to fight his efforts with everything I’ve got. I’m proud to report that some important and influential groups in Alabama have heard my promise and joined my fight.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, the state’s largest group representing the agricultural community, recently endorsed my campaign because they know what is at stake, and they recognize my willingness to resist. Farmers of all kinds and all sizes across the state depend upon affordable utility rates in every step of the farm-to-market process, and increased energy prices prompted by Obama and the environmentalists would cripple these agriculture operations overnight.

In addition to the jobs that would be lost, the cost of food that you put on your family’s dinner table would increase exponentially. As the operator of a cattle and catfish farming operation, myself, I can promise you that these are the solid facts, not predictions.

Manufacture Alabama, a statewide group that represents manufacturing industries ranging from small, family-owned operations to the largest in the state, has also endorsed my campaign. Large manufacturers and other industrial facilities consume massive amounts of energy, and the survival of these businesses depend upon having an energy source that is both reliable and cost-effective.

Shutting down our coal industry would immediately destroy the reliability and affordability of the energy that these employers depend upon. The great success that Alabama has enjoyed over the past several years in recruiting large industrial projects would disappear, and the economic development advantages we hold over other states with higher energy costs would be lost forever. Existing industries already located here would not only be discouraged from expanding and adding jobs, but their current operations would be threatened, as well.

Manufacture Alabama endorsed my campaign because they recognize I will work to prevent that nightmare scenario from becoming a reality on my watch.

The economic futures of our children, our grandchildren, and their children after them may well be determined by the choice we make in this Republican primary in June. The stakes are simply too high for Alabama to elect — or re-elect — a PSC commissioner who is unwilling, unable, or simply uninspired to join the fight to protect Alabama’s economy from liberal threats.

Because Obama and the environmental leftists continue to escalate their War on Coal, we cannot afford to have summertime soldiers and sunshine patriots serving on the PSC. We need commissioners who are willing to stand in the breach and repel the attacks in order to preserve Alabama jobs and keep our utility rates affordable for families and businesses alike.

I am up to the task and stand ready to serve. I would deeply appreciate your support.

Chip Beeker, a former Republican member and chairman of the Greene County Commission, owns and operates a catfish and cattle farm in Eutaw, Alabama. He is currently running as a Republican candidate for the Place 2 seat on the Alabama Public Service Commission. Beeker’s website is located at ChipBeeker.com.