The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is strangling the life out of our ailing economy with its increasingly burdensome regulations.
Last year, West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw and two dozen of his colleagues from other states filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to delay the latest round of EPA emissions regulations. McGraw understood that the EPA's proposed air pollution thresholds would force the closing of many coal-fired plants.
This is, in fact, the intent of the regulations. During his 2008 race for the White House, our president-to-be promised to set standards for coal plants that would put them out of business.
Unfortunately, McGraw's brief fell on deaf ears and the D.C. Court of Appeals upheld the disastrous new EPA regulations.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney has denounced the decision and accused Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of responding too timidly to the economic warfare being waged against our state by the Obama Administration.
"This ruling will have a crippling effect on businesses right here in West Virginia," Maloney predicted. "States like Texas and Virginia joined lawsuits to try to stop this action by Obama's EPA and save jobs in their states. Earl Ray Tomblin did not sue Obama and did not try to protect jobs in West Virginia. So, yet again, Earl Ray is proving that he is with Obama and against West Virginia."
A spokesman for Tomblin's campaign committee dismissed Maloney's criticism, insisting that the governor "takes real action to support our coal industry and stand up to the federal government."
With an election looming, it may be too much to expect our two gubernatorial candidates to put partisan bickering aside, but the EPA's war on coal – its war on West Virginia – is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's a federalism issue, a state sovereignty issue.
West Virginians are under attack, Democrats and Republicans alike. If we don't fight back, we will all suffer.