“Just this morning, nearly 200 West Virginia coal miners in Randolph County were informed that their jobs would be gone by Christmas,” Republican U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito lamented last Tuesday as she discussed the bipartisan resolution of disapproval that she and Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota had introduced in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan regulations for existing power sources.
“Think about how those families will spend their Christmas holiday,” Capito continued. “And then consider how those realities would be magnified and felt throughout many households across the country if these carbon mandates move forward.”
Capito said the resolution “will block the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations targeting existing power sources.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a related resolution expressing disapproval for the proposed Clean Power Plan regulations for new power sources.
Capito emphasized that the EPA's proposed regulations are not a natural disaster or other unpredictable and unavoidable occurrence.
“This is a carefully crafted, precise, and very meditated assault on certain areas of the country,” she charged. “Policies that help some states and really hurt others. Policies that target states like West Virginia and North Dakota, where we produce some of the most affordable and reliable energy.”
Earlier this year, Capito introduced the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) to “fight back against the assault on coal, and the broader threat to affordable, reliable energy nationwide.”
Co-sponsored by Joe Manchin, as is the resolution of disapproval, ARENA would force the EPA to demonstrate that proposed power plant standards are achievable and to provide state-specific model plans, extend compliance dates, prohibit the EPA from withholding highway funds for noncompliance, and prevent implementation of any plan that harms state economies, jeopardizes the reliability of electricity systems, or disadvantages electricity ratepayers.
Obama and his EPA Grinches may be trying to steal Christmas from West Virginians, but they won't get away with it if we and our elected representatives stand up to them.