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Alabama braces for Obama climate change announcement

When Barack Obama makes his long-awaited climate change policy announcement on Tuesday, expect him to use a familiar phrase: “We can’t wait.” Obama first strung those three words together in October of 2011 as an excuse to bypass congress using executive orders to tweak rules and make recess appointments, some of which were found to be unconstitutional. Now, since he failed to push “Cap and Trade” through Congress, the President is expected to similarly use his executive powers to impose job-crushing environmental regulations on energy producers.

In a video released by the White House over the weekend, the President said he’s preparing to “lay out a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it.”

So what exactly does that mean?

Specific details of the speech are being kept under wraps, but the President began last week softening the ground for a major announcement when he vowed in Berlin to “do more” to limit carbon emissions. Administration officials have since then indicated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will ramp up its already over-burdensome regulatory efforts.

“Going forward, obviously the EPA is going to be working very hard on rules that focus specifically on greenhouse gas emissions from the coal sector.” White House Energy Adviser Heather Zichal said in a speech on Wednesday. “They’re doing a lot of important work in that space.”

Indeed, the EPA is already heavily regulating carbon emissions from new power plants. And existing power plants are next on the Administration’s hit list. Many plants would likely be shut down because the cost of being retrofitted to meet increased standards would be prohibitive.

Enviro groups are also calling on the Administration to allow more “green energy” to be produced on public land, and for new Energy Department standards on appliances. But the clamp down on coal-fired plants will get the loudest cheers from the global warming alarmists.

Senator Richard Shelby did not mince words when asked about the President’s climate change announcement.

Sen. Richard Shelby

“We need well-paying jobs and low-cost energy. President Obama appears poised to kill both via executive decree,” Sen. Shelby told Yellowhammer. “This is the last thing that the American economy needs on top of Obamacare. It’s insane.”

Here in Alabama, the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is charged with regulating the state’s energy providers, has recently been been overrun by environmentalists calling for the death of Alabama’s coal industry. The timing of Obama’s climate change announcement could not be better for groups like the Alabama Environmental Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which have been vocal participants in recent hearings at the PSC.

“500 jobs vanished in an instant when these groups got what they wanted in Georgia,” PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh told Yellowhammer, referencing the recent shutdown of 15 Georgia coal plants after environmental groups successfully petitioned the state to increase environmental standards. “There are 5,000 coal jobs in Alabama at stake. On top of that, every Alabamians’ utility bill would skyrocket, putting everyone else’s job on the line and further burdening our families. Whether it’s Obama’s EPA on the federal level, or the Al Gore followers we’re dealing with right now in the state, we need to do everything we can to fight back and protect jobs.”

The public has made it abundantly clear where the global warming agenda ranks on their list of priorities.

A recent Gallup survey asked Americans what they think is the most important problem facing the country today. While the economy and jobs topped the list, global warming was mentioned by fewer than 1% of respondents and was subsequently not even included in the results.

Oh… and never forget this brief moment of honesty:

1. Clear contrast continues at PSC hearings
2. Recap from the first Alabama Power PSC hearing
3. Beeker challenging Dunn in PSC Republican primary
4. Alabama climatologist crushes enviros
5. Democrats Embrace Republican Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn

What else is going on?
1. Sessions continues fighting on eve of 1,200-page immigration amendment vote
2. Accountability Act Provides Incentives, Tools for Failing Schools
3. Nodine gets a shout out on MSNBC
4. Alabama delegation votes 6-1 along party lines in unexpected defeat of farm bill
5. Shelby co-sponsors bill to repeal Death Tax