Three of West Virginia’s top elected officials are each taking a smart approach in response to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which will severely restrict the use of coal in power production.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he is leading a coalition of 24 states in a lawsuit, asking a federal court to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which he believes unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory power.
In the U.S. Senate, Shelley Moore Capito has introduced a resolution disapproving the EPA’s rule.
And Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday that the state intends to submit a plan for West Virginia to comply with the Clean Power Plan.
Each action is appropriate.
“EPA claims to have sweeping power to enact such regulations based on a rarely-used provision of the Clean Air Act, but such legal authority simply does not exist,” Morrisey said.
Said Capito: “This impractical rule fails to consider the costs to American families, communities and jobs.”
And in case neither Morrisey’s nor Capito’s plan resolves the issue, Tomblin wants the state to be prepared.
“To do nothing or just ignore the EPA, in my opinion, is something we should not do,” the governor said. “If we can show that we put a lot of time and study into a plan for West Virginia, we would have a better chance of, hopefully, lessening the pain that they may inflict upon us.”
Interestingly, comments at the Governor’s Energy Summit by Appalachian Power President Charles Patton fuel the arguable claims that coal is on the way out.
“With or without the Clean Power Plan, the economics of alternatives to fossil-based fuels are making inroads in the utility plan,” Patton said. “Companies are making decisions today where they are moving away from coal-fired generation.”
If Patton is right, why then does the EPA even need to hasten the demise of coal jobs with its overreaching, and most-likely illegal, regulatory scheme?