Loan restrictions would deny power to developing world

At one time – during the 1920s and 1930s when progressives pushed hard for rural electrification – American liberals understood the importance of reasonably-priced power to quality of life. No more. Ignoring the health and safety ramifications of much higher prices for electricity, President Barack Obama and his cronies are using their war against coal to force utility bills up.

Not content to stop at our shores, they want to deny tens of millions of people in other countries the benefits of electricity.

As we have reported, Obama has ordered the U.S. Export-Import Bank to stop providing money for coal-fired power plants abroad. Because some foreign generating stations will not be built without outside funding such as that from the bank, that will leave many people in underdeveloped countries without the electricity they otherwise could have had.

The Ex-Im Bank, as it is called in Washington, is up for reauthorization by Congress. Many conservatives and a few liberals have said they cannot support that.

Among those with reservations is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Reportedly, he has made his support for reauthorization contingent on eliminating the ban on funding for coal-fired power plants.

Manchin and like-minded senators may hold the Ex-Im Bank’s fate in their hands. Without their support, the bank may be eliminated. That has prompted some ultra-liberals to condemn Manchin’s stance.

But he is right – absolutely, positively correct. Obama and other liberals are using policy for misguided, shallow social ends, to the detriment of people throughout the world who want better lives for themselves and their children.