Monty Rakusen/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

By 2017, coal may replace oil as the world’s top energy source. But while coal production is going up around the globe, the Obama administration seems focused on limiting the domestic coal industry by imposing burdensome and costly regulations.

Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris explains:

Although coal-fired power plants generate over 40 percent of America’s electricity, the coal industry—and therefore American energy consumers—is increasingly under attack from both proposed and implemented federal regulations on new power plants, existing power plants, and mining operations.

When coal’s decline is driven by market forces, such as from the extraction and supply of cheap natural gas from shale formations, consumers and the economy at large are made better off. But when politicians unnecessarily choke coal supplies through excessive regulations devoid of environmental benefit, the result is less competition, higher prices, and job destruction.

The free market should determine the country’s energy source of choice, Loris argues, not bureaucrats in the federal government. While governments all over the world have figured that out, Washington continues to make American coal production more expensive and less competitive on the global market.

Do you think Lawmakers should be increasing regulations on the coal industry?

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