In the GOP State of the Union rebuttal, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) made the fanciful claim that President Obama’s energy decisions have “destroyed” “tens of thousands of jobs” and have had no benefit on public health:
The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy. It must be replaced by a passionate pro-growth approach that breaks all ties and calls all close ones in favor of private sector jobs that restore opportunity for all and generate the public revenues to pay our bills.
It isn’t a surprise that Daniels — a long-time climate-denier and friend of oil and gas — boldly claimed coal regulations have no effect on public health, when new mercury pollution controls will prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks annually. His jobs estimate for Keystone XL has also been debunked by multiple studies, instead coming closer to 5,000 temporary jobs.
Daniels’ rush to defend coal and oil at the expense of public health comes as little surprise. Since 2004, Daniels has received $64,200 from the oil and gas industry, according to National Institute on Money in State Politics data. He has received another $735,662 from mining and utilities.