MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media predicts the next occupant of the White House will lead a resurgence in coal if that person is a Republican.
“What’s going to happen in the next few years, especially when we get a new president, is that the economy is going to start to revive again. We’re going to start to do sensible things overseas, so you get the global economy starting to move up again,” Forbes said.
“The extremists don’t like to hear it, but coal is a critical source of energy, so the consumption of coal is going to be moving up again.”
Forbes, a former two-time Republican presidential candidate, was a guest on “Talkline” a day after the federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed new standards designed to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas production.
In part, energy companies will be required to install new technology to meet the standards at future well sites which is something many companies have already indicated they’re doing.
The proposals are one component of a larger Obama Administration goal to reduce methane emissions during oil and gas production by 40 to 45 percent, compared with 2012 levels, before 2025.
“They destroyed the coal industry and they’re determined to destroy gas and oil as well,” Forbes said of the EPA’s methane actions which came just more than a week after new carbon emissions limits, in the form of the Clean Power Plan, were finalized.
“This government, particularly the White House, has the idea that all things like natural gas, oil, coal are bad and so they’re determined to drive them out of existence. Their alternatives are not going to do the job. In fact, in many ways, they are even worse,” Forbes said.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows a surge in domestic oil and natural gas production during the past decade.
The new methane rules regulating that production will next be posted for public comments and could be finalized next year before President Barack Obama leaves office.
A new administration in 2017 will mean a “new environment” for fossil fuels, according to Forbes.
Though he had no predictions when asked about who will be the next U.S. president, Forbes said it should be a Republican.
“I don’t know yet,” he said of his choice. “I’m still looking over the (Republican) field, but I think most people don’t want a third term of (President) Barack Obama.”