West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined 25 other states last week in pressing for a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s crippling Clean Power Plan. The controversial anti-coal plan has already caused great harm here in the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia where headlines of mine closures and coal miners being laid off has become an almost a weekly occurrence.
Morrisey says he understands that even securing a stay against the Clean Power Plan, which will reduce carbon emissions by 2030, may not help the lagging coal industry pick up to previous levels. Many of those coal mines in our region that have been closed in recent months are unlikely to reopen even with a court victory. Still it is imperative for Morrisey to continue this fight in court. It is also critical for lawmakers, on both the state and federal level, to continue their fight against the crippling anti-coal agenda of the Obama administration.
Morrisey, Paxton and the other states argue that the plan exceeds the EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and by forcing states to fundamentally alter their energy portfolios and shift away from coal-fired generation. The EPA mandates are already forcing states on both sides of the issue to change laws and accommodate the rule’s goals.
“This has to stop,” Morrisey told the Register-Herald in Beckley last week. “We urge the court to take quick action and stop the continued implementation of this rule until the court has adequate time to hear our evidence and has an opportunity to decide this case on the merits.”
Texas and West Virginia filed suit against the Obama administration on Oct. 23, the same day the rule was published by the EPA. Last week’s brief was a response to EPA arguments filed with the court on Dec. 3.
States joining West Virginia and Texas in this necessary battle are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Departments of Environmental Quality in Mississippi and North Carolina.
We applaud this diverse, bipartisan coalition of states for fighting this necessary battle in court. Although great harm has already been done to the coalfields region, it is not too late to stop this job-killing federal overreach of the Obama administration. The fight must continue.
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- On December 29, 2015