CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito are leading the fight against what they call an overreach by President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The West Virginians are part of the bipartisan upper chamber group which wants to give individual states more control over how they deal with coal-fired power plant emissions.
The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, or ARENA Act, prevents EPA mandates for unproven technologies and extends to compliance dates for the president’s clean power plan.
Additionally, it requires the EPA to issue state specific plans for how they can meet required emissions reductions and it stops the agency from withholding federal highway dollars for non-compliance.
“We've been heavily impacted by what I think is the president's end-around of congress. What this bill says is let's get some common sense,” Capito said.
“The facts are that coal is going to be used to supply power to the United States for many, many years. If you're going to use it you should use it as clean as possible. All we've asked for is the federal government to be our partner and work with us,” Manchin said.
The first step for the bill is the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which Capito is a member.