West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Why would anyone want to suppress the coal industry?

By The West Virginia Record | Apr 17, 2014


What is it about fossil fuels that inspires such seemingly irrational opposition?

Putting aside the invariably exaggerated, frequently fabricated environmental concerns, it remains difficult to discern what the real motive might be.

Discount the avowed concern for the environment as merely a cover for the real motive, however, and you’ll begin to wonder if what seemed like an unintended consequence – the suppression of the coal, oil, and gas industries – is the end desired.

The question, then, is not why some people are so fervent in their desire to protect the environment, but why they are so determined to hamstring these industries.

There are only two possible answers, one uglier than the other.

First: Vested interests might want to suppress these industries because they have huge financial stakes in alternative forms of energy generation – stakes that would grow in reverse proportion to the decline of fossil fuels.

Second: Enemies, foreign and domestic, might want to suppress these industries to undermine our economy, weaken our country, and threaten our way of life.

Into which category EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy may fall, if either, is immaterial to the West Virginia coal companies struggling to survive. All they know is, they have to fight back.

And that’s what they’re doing.

Last month, a dozen coal and energy companies filed suit in U.S. District Court in Wheeling to compel McCarthy to abide by the terms of the Clean Air Act, which require “continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement” of the Act.

Having conducted no such evaluations, McCarthy has instead enforced the Act “in a manner that is causing coal mines to close, costing hard-working Americans their jobs, and shifting employment away from areas rich in coal resources to areas with energy resources preferred by the Agency,” according to the suit.

You’d almost think she was trying to suppress the coal industry.

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