Coal State Governor Waiting for Details?

*Note: Tuesday’s Voices of Montana will feature Northern Cheyenne Tribal member and labor union leader Jason Small, Rep. Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip), and Jim Atchison with Southeast Montana Development- all concerned about the “war on coal.”

Even though hundreds of jobs, and millions of dollars in Montana’s economy are on the line- the Governor of the state is merely waiting for details, even after a White House climate advisor said “a war on coal is exactly what is needed.”

The AP has this:

President Barack Obama’s goal of limiting carbon-dioxide emissions has put Democratic leaders in energy-producing states such as Montana in a bind, caught between bellicose Republican statements of a “war on coal” and emboldened environmentalists who are calling for swift action.

That has forced leaders such as Gov. Steve Bullock into something of a hedge, telling the public to wait for the details of Obama’s plan while assuring them that energy production will remain a major economic driver and a source of employment.

“I think it is a little premature to kind of be guessing how this will unfold,” Bullock said. “On the greater level, I think everybody agrees that having a national or international energy policy makes sense because no individual state can do this.”

Reaction via Twitter:

More from the AP: Coal Country is on the Defensive

…almost overnight, coal is back on the defensive, scrambling to stave off a dark future amid President Barack Obama’s renewed push to rein in climate change.

The proposal, with its emphasis on cuts in carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants, would put facilities like the 2,100-megawatt Colstrip electricity plant in eastern Montana in regulators’ cross hairs. That has profound spin-off implications for the massive strip mines that dot the surrounding arid landscape of the Powder River Basin and provide the bulk of the nation’s coal.

(From pipefitter Joe Ashworth) “Go green sure. But do you have an electrical vehicle that will pull my trailer so I can make a living?” he asked.

After a White House climate advisor said “a war on coal is exactly what is needed,” the Secretary of Energy is attempting to clarify.   

Daily Caller: Obama Admin Denies Waging a “War on Coal”

Despite President Barack Obama’s new plan to target the coal industry by imposing strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions, the administration denies that there is a “war on coal.”

The president “expects fossil fuels, and coal specifically, to remain a significant contributor for some time,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Reuters. It is “all about having, in fact, coal as part of that future. I don’t believe it is a ‘war on coal.’”

Read more:

Here’s an excerpt from an earlier report by Montana Public Radio’s Dan Boyce:

The Montana Coal Council represents the state’s six major coal mines. Executive Director Bud Clinch said he really didn’t see anything too surprising in the Obama climate plan, and that the industry has been waiting for much of this to happen for about the last two years.

“I think it’s something he’s believed in from the beginning,” Clinch said. “It’s just that the election is behind us now and any political risk to him is somewhat gone.”

From Politico Playbook:

HERITAGE: CUTTING COAL MEANS 500,000 JOB LOSSES: The Heritage Foundation has a paper out this morning criticizing Obama’s climate plan, particularly any aspects that could be bad news for coal. Cutting coal completely from the U.S. energy mix, the group says, means job losses of over half a million, the loss of 43 percent of coal mining jobs and natural gas prices rising 42 percent. “War on Coal isn’t rhetoric. Congress rejected the President’s and other cap-and-trade plans but Obama has repeatedly vowed to go around Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the paper says. It’ll be here later this morning:

Maybe we need to pay for J-Lo to come to Colstrip and hold a concert?

From Politico’s “Morning Energy:”

JENNY FROM THE BLOC: Via The Wall Street Journal: “A human-rights debate involving singer Jennifer Lopez has provided a rare window into the efforts of China’s largest oil company to boost access to abundant gas supplies in Turkmenistan. … The Turkmenistan event underscores the lengths to which China’s oil-and-gas companies will go to curry favor in resource-rich locales. Turkmenistan has some of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas.” WSJ:

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