WV Coal Association, Lawmakers Applaud Passage of Resolutions that Disapprove of EPA Power Plan

The West Virginia Coal Association released a statement lauding the U.S. House of Representatives for its vote to approve two joint resolutions which both disapprove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for new and existing power plants.

The resolutions, S.J. Res. 23 and S.J. Res. 24, disapprove the EPA’s rules for new and existing power plants and would force the EPA’s final rules to have no force or effect. The resolutions now head to President Barack Obama for action.

The vote included 231 Republicans voting yes and 10 voting against it; 178 Democrats voted against the measure and four voted for it. The resolutions already passed the U.S. Senate and all of West Virginia’s Congressional representatives voted for the measures.

“We are happy that the Congressional majority recognizes the damage this plan has already done to our industry and to the nation’s electric grid,” West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said in a news release. “We believe the EPA’s Clean Power Plan threatens the nation’s electric grid and its economy.

“West Virginia is already seeing the damage, with many of our counties seeing unemployment rates of more than 13 percent, but make no mistake, if this plan is implemented the rest of the nation will share in the pain.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey also released a statement about the U.S. House vote saying the regulations, if they are left intact, “will destroy West Virginia’s coal industry, leave countless West Virginians without work and lead to skyrocketing electricity costs for everyone."

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was a co-sponsor of the resolutions, along with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“Hardworking families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable energy while doing little to actually improve the environment,” Capito said in a statement. “Sending these resolutions to the president’s desk is an important step in the fight against the harmful clean power plan, and shows that any international climate deal reached in Paris will be met with skepticism here at home.”

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., spoke on the House floor Monday night urging yes votes on both resolutions.

“This week we will join together with the House to send President Obama and the EPA a strong message — no more attacks on coal. No more attacks on domestic energy. No more attacks on the people who produce energy,” he said.

Jenkins said the EPA’s plan would destroy jobs and increase utility costs for consumers.

Manchin said the approval of the resolutions show that Congress “will continue to fight against these unobtainable and unreasonable regulations.”

“I have vowed to do everything I can to fight to protect the people and the communities of West Virginia, which have been absolutely devastated by this Administration’s overreaching rules on the coal industry, and I am pleased that these measures have been passed to disapprove and stop these rules,” Manchin said.

By:  Ann Ali
Source: The State Journal