October 31 2012

West Virginia Dems: Back Off EPA

Emily Wismer

 

West Virginia Democrats are “outraged,” “incensed,” and “infuriated” by the Environmental Protection Agency’s treatment of coal. According to the Washington Times, President Obama’s EPA has cost the state over 150 jobs thus far, with more coming:

“Once again, the EPA has stepped in the way of a great project here in West Virginia,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, said Tuesday in a joint statement with fellow Democrats Mr. Manchin, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Nick Rahall. “The EPA cannot seem to understand the big picture and the true scope of its authority.”

What’s the hubbub about? Consol, an energy giant, failed to secure permits for surface mining through the EPA and under the Clean Air Act. The project was estimated to bring in 2500 jobs, develop 2000 acres of land, and include the construction of a new highway. Senator Joe Manchin responded:

I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them.

According to the Washington Times, these actions are not out of character for Obama’s EPA. The term, War on Coal is catching on in many parts of West Virginia, a state that relies on coal as a main provider of jobs.

West Virginians may be upset, but they shouldn’t be surprised:  President Obama is following through on his promise to bankrupt coal, and is receiving bipartisan backlash as a result. As the EPA cracks down on coal, a whopping 175 coal fired generators, representing 8.5 percent of coal fired capability, are being phased out. The results? Energy prices are on the rise, and there are fewer jobs for workers here at home.  West Virginians aren’t the only ones who should be concerned. 

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