02.28.16

Editorial: Show of Strength: 200 Lawmakers Oppose Anti-Coal Plan

In a welcomed and necessary show of strength, more than 200 members of Congress have filed an amicus brief in support of West Virginia’s court case against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its existing coal-fired power plant regulations.

That’s 170 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 34 members of the U.S. Senate, who are standing up against the job-killing, anti-coal regulations advocated by the Obama administration. We applaud those 200 members of Congress who are standing with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and 26 other states, who are challenging the legality of Obama’s crippling climate change regulations. The new rules have already caused unprecedented harm to our region with the loss of thousands of coal mining jobs, and the subsequent closure of multiple mining operations and coal-fired power plants.

Having 200 lawmakers standing with the state of West Virginia in opposition to these rules — which have already been called into question by the U.S. Supreme Court — should send a loud and clear message to the Obama administration.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 earlier this month — before the death of Justice Antonin Scalia — to halt the enforcement of the controversial Clean Power Plan until the court challenge by the 27 states is resolved.

Most of the region’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capitol, R-W.Va., have signed on in support of the amicus brief.

“The EPA acted illegally in moving forward with this job-killing, anti-coal regulation,” Jenkins said. “As a result, jobs have been lost in West Virginia while electricity prices rise. I am fighting in Congress using every tool possible to stop this EPA and this administration from killing our coal jobs. The Supreme Court has already halted this regulation, and I commend West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for his leadership on this landmark case. I trust that the courts will see that the EPA has acted against Congress and the American people with this rule.”

“As I have said time and time again, the harmful Clean Power Plan and its economic assault on states like West Virginia must be stopped,” Capito, who is leading legislative efforts in the Senate to roll back the Clean Power Plan, added. “The Supreme Court was right to halt these costly regulations while legal challenges are ongoing. The EPA has overstepped its authority by imposing enormously burdensome regulations on states despite Congress’ rejection, and now the court should vacate this disastrous rule altogether.”

We agree. That’s why the fight must continue. We can’t afford to take any more hits here in the coalfield counties of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. Far too many jobs have already been lost.

We believe it is imperative for lawmakers and state officials to continue this fight in Washington, Charleston and Richmond, Va., and in the courts.


Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph