02.13.16

Editorial: Keep Electricity Prices Affordable

"I won," President Barack Obama reminded a group of Republican leaders seven years ago as he was pushing hundreds of billions of dollars in "stimulus" spending through Congress. His point was that he had been elected president and his party controlled both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Well, Mr. President, you have won quite a few political fights. But now you have lost one. Get over it and do what you're told.

Supreme Court justices last week ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend enforcement of new rules Obama had hoped would destroy the coal industry - and with it, affordable electricity for tens of millions of Americans. The court ruled other court challenges to the EPA plan have to be settled before the agency can proceed.

That was a victory for the forces of reason. Among those deserving commendation for it is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led the court challenge to the EPA.

But Obama has become accustomed to getting his way. So, the day after the court ruling, White House spokesman Josh Earnest vowed the administration will "take aggressive steps to make forward progress to reduce carbon emissions."

That sounded very much as if the president intends to thumb his nose at the highest court in the land. Let us hope EPA officials have more fidelity to the Constitution and react to White House orders to push ahead with a simple refusal to break the law, which is what a Supreme Court ruling is, in the end.

Meanwhile, before the courts rein the EPA in once and for all, Congress should do so. A vehicle for accomplishing that, Sen. Shelley Capito's Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, already has seen important support.

Capito, R-W.Va., sponsored the ARENA bill to block Obama's so-called "Clean Power Plan." Her measure has 35 co-sponsors, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

But most Democrats have been afraid to risk incurring Obama's wrath by supporting the bill. Party loyalty means more to them than defending the interests of their constituents. Now would be a good time for Capito to remind them that they may have been able to conceal the truth from home-state voters in the past - but will not be able to if Obama presses forward and millions of electric bills go up by as much as $1,000 a year.


Source: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register