The Dec. 20 news article “Last-minute rule to make coal industry cleaner met with praise, criticism” missed several key points.
The rule provides no discernible environmental benefits. It simply duplicates and interferes with extensive existing environmental protections at the federal and state levels and it does so in a way that could potentially lock away more than half of the nation’s existing coal reserves.
Set aside the duplication and interference, which are prohibited by current regulation, and the lack of environmental benefits, and consider the costs. A study commissioned by the National Mining Association predicted that at least a third of coal-mining jobs will be lost given the massive volumes of coal that would be uneconomic to mine. Add the loss of coal-supported jobs in manufacturing, power plants and freight rail and the number rises into the hundreds of thousands.
With so much at risk for no gain, the rule embodies all that is wrong with regulation and all the reasons Congress must overturn it.
The writer is president and chief executive of the National Mining Association.
See the article here.