Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our Economic Reality

The Obama administration has successfully closed down over 30 coal-fired power plants. One of the plants affected is in my area. As a result, some peeople have lost their jobs. We have a few power plants in the area.

My husband has worked for the coal mine that feeds these power plants for 23 years. It has been a wonderful job. Very secure with great benefits. In fact, our insurance provides for services that my son needs as a result of his Down syndrome. We have been very blessed and have not had to worry about insurance or medical care and we have been able to provide for our large family.

Unfortunately, if re-elected, President Obama has earmarked 120 more coal-fired power plants to shut down, including all of the plants in our area. That will effectively shut down the coal mining operation. These companies employ thousands of people in the area, not to mention all of the support businesses they support. Once the plants close, the mine will close and so will the vendors and suppliers that service these companies. A loss of that many jobs will have a drastic effect on a relatively small economy here. People will lose their homes. The housing market will crash. People will move which will mean less students at schools which will result in teachers losing their jobs, doctors and dentists losing patients, restaurants and stores losing customers. In a domino effect, businesses will be affected in a negative way.

And so will we. We have lived in this area for 23 years. We built our current home 18 years ago and have continued to invest in it and in our property. We have raised our kids here and we have been involved in the community. And it may all be at risk.

These power plants supply electricity to large cities, including Los Angeles. If these plants close, those in LA and other cities will pay higher prices for electricity as well as experience brown outs when there isn't enough power to go around. The fact is, right now we do not have enough resources to supply power without these coal-fired power plants.

While green power is a worthy goal, it is one that cannot be accomplished overnight. I'm not sure what the Obama administration plans to do to replace the power currently supplied by these power plants. Or what will happen to all of us affected by the closures. I don't think it's wise to close all of these plants, especially without a plan to replace the demand for power.

I'm all for cleaner energy. But we need to use wisdom in implementing it. We need to realize it takes time to create alternative power. And we need to consider the economic effects when an industry is targeted like this.

We all lose with President Obama's plan to close these plants. And that's our economic reality.

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