Biden’s ‘war’ on energy will cost Americans jobs, worsen inflation, Montana officials say

FIRST ON FOX: Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., are raising red flags over the Biden administration’s “war” on energy, warning that it is negatively impacting certain communities in their state and the United States overall.

The two Republican officials are slated to appear Tuesday evening at the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip, where they’ll join Montana energy industry leaders in holding a roundtable discussion about the impacts of recent regulations put in place by the Biden administration to eliminate coal production in the state.

“Joe Biden has made it clear that he’d rather appease the demands of far-left activists than address the affordability crisis he’s created,” Gianforte said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “Affordable power generated by coal keeps the lights on in Montana and fuels manufacturing across the country. Today, we call on the president to end his war on coal that drives up costs, threatens the reliability of our electrical grid, and destroys jobs.”

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Echoing Gianforte, Daines insisted President Biden and his administration are “dead set” on destroying energy-based communities in parts of Montana.

“Joe Biden is doing everything he can to kill Colstrip and made-in-Montana energy – from the EPA’s new MATS and Clean Power Plan 2.0 rules that directly threaten Colstrip Power Plant, to prohibiting all new coal leasing in eastern Montana that threaten the Rosebud coal mine,” Daines said. “This administration is dead set on shuttering the Colstrip community. I will be fighting each day against the radical left and Biden’s anti-energy agenda.”

The duo’s roundtable discussion, which is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. MST, comes amid the Biden administration’s recently released Resource Management Plan Amendment, which prohibits future coal leases in eastern Montana through 2038.

The governor’s office said the regulations are the latest in a series that the Biden administration is using to “target Colstrip and coal-generated power.”

Colstrip generating units, according to the governor’s office, account for a significant percentage of Montana’s baseload electricity supply and consistently rank among the lowest-cost dispatchable power plants in the western U.S.

The Rosebud coal mine, which spans 25,000 acres, produces roughly six to eight million tons of coal to supply the adjacent four coal-fired generating units that provide enough energy to power nearly 500,000 homes.

The Biden administration’s efforts would also have a negative impact on jobs in the state as Colstrip employs around 360 Montanans at the power station and another 370 at the Rosebud Mine.

The new rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten to force the early retirement of generating units at the facility, costing Montana consumers over $1.1 billion over the next 20 years, according to Northwestern Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan.

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Gianforte is expected to call the new regulations an “unacceptable burden on Montanans” during the Tuesday evening discussion and point out that they are being implemented as “historic inflation and skyrocketing mortgage rates stretch paychecks thinner and thinner.”

Prices continued to rise in April, according to the Consumer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since Biden took office in January 2021, the energy index has risen more than 30%.

“Energy isn’t a luxury in Montana, it’s a necessity. Every year, harsh winter conditions remind us of the need for an all-of-the-above energy approach and reliable, baseload power,” Gianforte said.

Earlier this month, when the Biden administration’s latest regulations were announced, Gianforte said the move is “nothing more than a gift to China and our adversaries and a slap in the face to hardworking Montanans.”

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“Instead of prioritizing the ideological agenda of the far left, President Biden should prioritize the needs of American consumers and workers,” he said at the time.

Last week, Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Responsibility released a report showing how the Biden administration’s energy policies have led to higher gas prices, uncertainty in America’s power sector, confusion about new cars and appliances, and pricey regulatory hurdles that have increased costs for American consumers and businesses.