Last month, we commented on a study by National Economic Research Associates concerning the “significant negative economic impacts” of an EPA proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants.

The study warned that compliance costs could exceed $350 billion nationwide, with electric rates increasing 14 percent here in West Virginia.

Now comes another study with unsettling predictions: Energy Market Impacts of Recent Federal Regulations on the Electric Power Sector.

Commissioned by Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, and conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis of Arlington, Va., this new study likewise projects dire consequences from EPA regulations.

Thanks to EPA regulations, existing and proposed, the cost of electricity and natural gas nationwide is likely to be $300 billion higher in 2020 than it was in 2012. The average West Virginia household can expect to pay $750 more per year for electricity and gas in 2020, with the cost continuing to rise thereafter, according to the study.

Will this great expense and inconvenience improve America's air quality? Not significantly, or even noticeably.

Will it lower the standard of living for millions of American citizens? Unquestionably.

If you're one of the few West Virginians who's still befuddled by the policies of the Obama Administration, you may ask, “What's the point of undermining our economy and making things worse for working people if there's no real environmental benefit?”

Granted, it's hard for normal persons to understand the thinking of the EPA’s twisted minds and the explanation is likely to hurt your head, but here it is: Hoping to improve the environment is the goal regardless of who gets hurt. If it undermines our economy and makes things worse for working people, that’s a price worth paying.

They’re wrong.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito know – or should know – what the true outcome of these EPA regulations will be. They should exercise their power to oppose them, stand up for our state, and fight back against the EPA.

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