With the recent influx of Democrats into Washington, there has been much talk about the change in the United States energy policy. However, there is beginning to be a divide within the Democrats on what the policies behind the new energy policy need to be. The problem behind this is “most of the policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the administration charged with creating the legislation come from either California or the East Coast.” These congressman are the main proponents of pushing for renewable energy sources. This is a catastrophic problem for those who live in the Midwest. The congressman from the Midwest states are banding together to fight the strict regulations that are being proposed by the committee. If new regulations are passed based on California's legislation, then the Midwest will collapse because their entire economy is dependent on coal. The committee are against coal as a fuel source, but cutting that straight from new policy would cause an already crumbling economy to collapse.
The Midwest relies on coal for its use in manufacturing. For example, in 2005, “California derived only 21% of its electricity from coal; whereas, Ohio drew 86% of its electricity from coal.” Based on those figures, how can the policy makers from California expect Ohio and other Midwest states to be able to function without the ability to burn coal for electricity. It can be inferred from the graph that the states that rely the most on coal are where the centers for manufacturing are located. The representatives from these states agree that there needs to be restrictions against the amount of carbon dioxide that is allowed to be emitted it into the atmosphere, but they cannot have any new regulations that almost destroy their economies. They believe that a system like cap-and-trade would be able to work because their economies would still be able to function, but they would have to be more careful on how the coal is burned. The main question behind this new energy policy if it is enacted would it create jobs or destroy jobs. That is the main question because at this turbulent time in our economy it is important to make sure new jobs are created without the expense of eliminating current jobs. It will be very interesting to see how this all pans out, but it could possibly be the end of the automotive industry and other manufacturing industries that rely on coal.