• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • VIDEO: The Perfect Storm of Regulations on American Energy

    Coal energy powers the small Colorado town of Craig — quite literally. The community relies on the energy produced at the Craig Station plant to keep the lights on and the economy moving.

    New regulations, however, threaten the community’s prosperity. Colorado imposed a renewable energy mandate that stipulates 30 percent of energy production must come from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2020.

    “Society cannot have reliable power based on when the wind blows and/or when the sun shines,” said Rick Johnson, plant manager at Craig Station, in a new video about the town’s plight.

    Johnson oversees the 1,311-megawatt Craig Station plant, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in America. To illustrate his point, Johnson notes in the video the drastic difference in megawatts produced by coal energy compared to renewable sources.

    The Cimarron Solar Facility in New Mexico, for example, has a capacity to produce 30 megawatts. The Kit Carson Windpower Project in Colorado has a capacity of 51 megawatts. Neither plant was operating even close to that capacity during filming of the video.

    Heritage’s Nick Loris, an expert on energy policy, warned that additional regulations would ultimately mean higher electricity prices for consumers and economic consequences.

    “Coal-fired electricity provides nearly half of America with affordable, reliable electricity generation but environmental activists have been intent on significantly reducing that percentage,” Loris said. “Adopted, proposed and pending regulations that are both expensive and stand on a weak scientific foundation would significantly increase compliance costs for existing coal plants, and make it more difficult to build new coal plants, increasing the cost of electricity and destroying jobs.”

    Aside from producing energy, the Craig Station plant offers other benefits to the community. It employees more than 300 people and helps generate revenue for other businesses in the area — like so many other energy companies in Colorado.

    Some of those businesses are already suffering as energy companies, facing Colorado’s new regulations, look elsewhere to invest their resources. Revenue at the local Best Western Hotel is down significantly, forcing the owners to lay off workers for the first time.

    “Really what’s happening in Colorado is this perfect storm of federal regulations hammering down on the energy industry and state regulations that are having a tremendous impact on the cost of electricity,” said Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research. “This is happening in places all around the country where we see this attack on the very energy sources that have powered our economy and made this engine run.”

    Posted in Energy, Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to VIDEO: The Perfect Storm of Regulations on American Energy

    1. Joe Stickney says:

      obama energy plan working well decreased supply of all energy and sources increases in all prces need big publicity campaign on his accomplishment dependene and shorage artificially created!!

    2. Skeeter says:

      It doesn't make any sense to be relying on wind or solar when you live in coal country. Southern Colorado has a lot of coal but imports from wyoming. Coal still produces the cheapest power.

    3. Obama, focused like a laser on destroying American industry! Let's focus like a laser on removing him from office on November 6!

    4. O_Henry says:

      End Foreign Energy Dependence

      1) Stop the wind and solar power government subsidy charade.

      2) Use nuke power for ALL of the electricity needs of the USA (either large national grid or small local grid application will work).

      3)Liquify US coal and use it in vehicles as a contingency fuel if enough oil cannot be produced from US wells.

      • Slick says:

        RE #2: right AFTER the brilliant people who are developing this kind of power find a safe and secure way to deal with the toxic waste. The long-term effects of nuclear waste make the waste products from coal and oil look like child's play!!!!! The world may NEVER recover from toxic waste spills of nuclear waste.

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      When will we all understand Obama don't give a damn about destroying towns like Craig. Look at what he's done to the economy of Louisiana, and the entire Gulf Coast. Look at the XLPipeline. Obama just doesn't care. It all about his agenda to drive this nation into his dream of full government control over every aspect of our lives. He's using our energy indurtry to collapse our economical system to force the people to beg him for salvation.

    6. shirley says:

      I lived in Craig a number of years and this is a good article. They also are trying to take out dams which are producing energy. In washington a dam was taken out that provided flood control, water storage in the form of a nice lake and the only electricity source here. This energy stupidity must be stopped!!

    7. We need to do something to stop all the regulations on coal.

    8. Jill Maine says:

      I think Congress needs to do something to stop him. What if a president goes crazy while in office? Can't they take him out? I think everything he is doing is nuts and anti-American.

    9. Slick says:

      For those listening to this video, there should be warning bells and lights going off everywhere! You think this is only happening in Craig, CO???? No sir, it is coming to towns near you, and it has the capacity to totally destroy the economies at the local level.

      We better fight back before it is too late . . . and we are fast approaching that point!

    10. Sandy Caruso says:

      We lived in Colorado for 17 years; in fact my youngest son and daughter were born there. Unfortunately I
      feel for the Coloradoans HOWEVER, the voters there supported Obama in the last election. There are consequences for voting for the socialist who is now POTUS. Perhaps Coloradoans should RE-think who they allow into power not only in their state but nationwide. We get the representation we elect and I am sorry to say liberal Colorado voters were part of the problem that caused this whole nation to suffer.Now the suffering has settled in their own backyard.

      Now a suggestion to the good folks in Colorado, help the nation by helping us defeat Obama and the other liberal democrats who have decimated the coal and oil industry and thereby the effected all of America with high energy costs. This should not be with the amount of fuel reserves we have in this country. Solution? Take back our country by electing honest patriots that will repeal Obamacare, the EPA regulations and all the other economy destroying legislation passed by the left wingnuts in congress and this administration. It will take a concerted effort.

    11. Slick says:

      For those listening to this video, there should be warning bells and lights going off everywhere! You think this is only happening in Craig, CO???? No sir, it is coming to towns near you, and it has the capacity to totally destroy the economies at the local level.

    12. Gayla says:

      Maybe we should have an electric blackout like we had an internet blackout to show us all how much we depend on electricity. Let all solar and wind supply our energy for 12 hours.

    13. mike halligan says:

      the decisions made to modify the power supply in Craig, Colorado is more than the decision of one man, there's a whole bunch of people involved in the process. I don't know why or who, but it's more than one man saying we are going to do this in Craig, colorado. that's flawed thinging.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.