Even when you know something's true and have no doubt about it, it's still nice to  have someone else confirm it.

It's not like any sane person in West Virginia ever questioned Barack Obama's determination to destroy the coal industry and devastate our state in the process.

He made no effort to disguise his anti-coal plans when he first ran for president in 2008 – in fact, he trumpeted them – and he has followed through on his threat, step by step, ever since.

We all know what it's like to be accused of being paranoid by people who don't know the facts, don't want to know the facts, and insist on denying the facts ever more strenuously the more the facts become incontrovertible.

We may soon wish we all could be that oblivious and impervious to reality.

In the meantime, though, a study released by National Economic Research Associates has confirmed the fate Obama has planned for us.

That study projects that an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants will have “significant negative economic impacts” for West Virginia and other states.

The costs of complying with the EPA proposal could exceed $350 billion nationwide. Electric rates could increase 14 percent in West Virginia, even more in other states, according to the study. The loss of wages and jobs would be horrendous.

While the economic pain and suffering will be real and measurable, the benefit to the environment will be negligible, so insignificant as to be indiscernible.

In other words, the pain and suffering – the seeming side effects – are the real outcome.

No surprise there. Just more ammunition to bolster our arguments as we try to convince our neighbors and friends that time is running out in the battle to save our state's number-one industry from the economic predations of a radical president.

Let's hope we can wake up the public before the battle is over and lost.

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