In America’s coal country – centred in Appalachia and stretches of the Mountain West – Barack Obama has come to represent federal tyranny. With this week’s announcement of new regulations intended to close eventually many or most of the nation’s 600 coal-burning power plants, those regions are sure to resent him even more.
Democrats campaigning in West Virginia and Kentucky were quickest to denounce the president’s carbon emissions plan, but this is unlikely to do many of them much good in the midterm elections later this year. The new rules increase the odds that the Republicans will win control of the Senate in November, that Congressional deadlock will get worse, and that the president’s final quarter will be marred by subpoenas and investigations.
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