A federal appeals court delayed action last week on the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, giving the Trump administration time to revise and potentially repeal the job-killing anti-coal policy. The decision is another victory for the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.
West Virginia, and a coalition of other states, filed a lawsuit in 2015, arguing the Clean Power Plan exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s congressional authority and violated the U.S. Constitution by attempting to commandeer and coerce the states into carrying out then President Barack Obama’s radical anti-coal energy policy.
But those days are over. The Trump administration is actively fighting for coal and other fossil fuels that were unfairly targeted by Obama. Trump has taken a series of steps in recent weeks to help coal and other fossil fuels, including scrapping the so-called stream-protection rule, lifting the ban on federal leasing for coal production, rescinding Obama’s controversial Climate Action Plan, ending job-killing restrictions on oil, and promising to review, and potentially repeal, the Clean Power Plan.
The appeals court agreed last week to postpone a ruling on the Clean Power Plan case for 60 days and asked the parties for guidance on whether the rule should be sent back to the EPA to potentially be revised or repealed.
Area lawmakers are praising the court’s decision, and Trump’s continued support of coal country.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led the fight against the Clean Power Plan on the state level, called the ruling a “positive step toward protecting West Virginia coal miners and those who depend upon their success.”
“After eight years of radical environmental policies from the White House, we now have a president focused on bringing coal jobs back,” U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said. “The so-called Clean Power Plan is one of the Obama administration’s key anti-coal policies, and the court made the right decision in giving the administration more time to roll back this job-killing rule.”
“I applaud the D.C. Court of Appeals for recognizing that these regulations are simply unlawful,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., added. “This ruling against the Clean Power Plan is an important step to prevent further job losses, increases in consumers’ utility rates, and more damage to our economy.”
We agree. If anything, last week’s court ruling is another sign of the changing political landscape in Washington. Voters, who were rightfully angered by the Obama administration’s war on coal, demanded change, and the Trump administration is delivering it.
By embracing a common sense energy policy, we now have hope, and a more even level playing field here in the coalfield counties of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.
No longer is the federal government going out of its way to kill good paying jobs in the greater Appalachia region. And that’s a victory for everyone.
See the article here.