Hundreds of Democrats Challenge President’s Climate Change Policies

Published January 12, 2016

A coalition composed of hundreds of Democratic Party officials and state and local officeholders from 32 states sent a letter to President Barack Obama outlining their objections to his climate change policies.

The letter takes aim at the centerpiece of Obama’s climate change agenda, the Clean Power Plan. The coalition, referring to itself CoalBlue, says it has “serious and overriding concerns” about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new emissions rules for power plants.

‘Clean Is Not Enough’

The letter, which was signed by 177 state legislators, 278 local elected officials, and 148 Democratic Party officials, argues an energy policy “focused on clean is not enough.” Energy production must also be affordable and reliable, the letter states.

The letter notes EPA emissions rules effectively ban clean coal technologies by making them cost-prohibitive.

“The American people will object, and other nations of the world will not follow, if the path we chart is one of more expensive, less reliable energy,” wrote the letter’s authors.

“True leadership requires the pursuit of policies that will make all forms of clean energy less expensive, be they renewable or fossil-based, and as reliable as current baseload coal-fired generation,” the letter states.

“CoalBlue rightly points out that Obama’s power plan will wreak havoc not only on families already struggling to make ends meet but will also risk our global competitiveness,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communication with the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “I applaud all voices raised in opposition to this illegal power grab and remain hopeful these voices will prevail.”

‘Climate Dreamers’ in Power

In a press statement accompanying the release of the letter, former U.S. Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), chairman of CoalBlue, says concerning the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, “The EPA, while well intentioned, has lost sight of the importance of preserving affordable and reliable energy in its pursuit of clean energy. As such, it has put forth policies that other nations, particularly in the developing world, are unlikely to follow, and that risk the loss of support at home.”

“Climate skeptics are criticized for having their heads in the sand, but climate dreamers can be criticized for having their heads in the clouds, ignoring the reality of the continuing need for and desirable use of fossil fuels, including coal,” said Jon Wood, president of CoalBlue.

“Only by acknowledging the fact fossil fuels can and will be used for decades in the future can we productively address the challenge climate change poses,” said Wood. 

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


CoalBlue, Letter to President Barack Obama objecting to the Clean Power Plan, November 24, 2015: