The passage last week of the Ratepayer Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives is another welcomed step in the ongoing efforts by the new Republican majority in Washington — with help from some Democrats — to stop the crippling war on coal that the Obama administration has been waging on our region for the past six years.
The measure, which was jointly co-sponsored locally by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., would allow for the judicial system to review any final rule in the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial Clean Power Plan — a measure that has already led to the closure of coal-fired power plants across West Virginia and Virginia — before states are required to comply with its implementation if the state’s governor has determined it would significantly harm energy reliability or affordability.
“I believe that this administration’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ is not only expensive, burdensome, and unreasonable, but that based on the law and prior court opinions, the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to enact it under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.,” Griffith, who represents Virginia’s so-called Fightin’ Ninth Congressional District, added. “Accordingly, the courts ought to weigh in on the plan’s legality before states implement it, and before those who pay an electric bill are required to spend a significant amount of money. House passage of the Ratepayer Protection Act is an important step in seeing that states can retain control of their energy markets, and that ratepayers don’t have to pay for a frivolous regulation EPA knows or ought to know it does not have the authority to implement.”
Jenkins an Griffith joined Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., in introducing the Ratepayer Protection Act, which has earned the support of the United Mine Workers of America.
The measure is another necessary step in the fight to protect the coalfields of West Virginia and Virginia. We believe it is critical for lawmakers in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to continue the fight before even more harm is done to both states, and the coalfield communities in particular.
As electric rates across our nation continue to increase due to these controversial new rules, more Americans will begin to feel the pain of Washington’s war on coal. And perhaps a few more eyes will be opened in the process.
See the article here.
- On June 30, 2015