If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans traveling across the country this year for Thanksgiving and are looking forward to spending time with family, eating a turkey dinner early in the afternoon and watching football, you have a lot for which to be thankful. However for many Americans, these luxuries are exactly that… they’re luxuries, and they come second to their immediate pocketbook concerns, like paying energy bills, putting food on the table, getting needed medicine and more.
For nearly the past decade, the Obama Administration and its partners at EPA have instituted restrictive energy policies and regulations on power plants and electricity generating units, dictating a one-sized-fits-all approach from Washington and dramatically impacting the way in which Americans power their homes. These policies have driven up costs across the board, and for those already struggling to make ends meet, the thought of paying for increasing energy bills makes an already stressful situation worse.
According to a recent study on energy expenditures by American families, lower-income families spend a larger percentage of their budgets on energy than higher income families and, therefore, increases in energy costs, especially electricity, have a greater impact on lower-income families. Since 2005, national average electricity prices have increased by 33% in current dollars, and by 7% in constant 2005 dollars. A portion of this increase is due to compliance costs associated with Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations.
So if you’re worried about increasing energy costs and dread the potential for any conversation about politics that tends to take place during Thanksgiving (especially after an exceptionally contentious election season), there’s a bit of good news: the new administration, with the backing of a strengthened Congress, has pledged to roll back the crippling energy regulations that have hamstrung the budgets of American families for years, leaving a little extra cash in everyone’s pockets for this costly time of year.
So this year, as you consider what to be thankful for, keep in mind the role affordable, reliable coal plays in keeping our energy costs low.