Our two U.S. senators and our state attorney general are standing up against the bureaucratic tyrants in Washington who want to smother our coal industry with red tape.
“We need the EPA and our federal government to work with us as allies, not as adversaries,” said Joe Manchin earlier this year when he introduced the Clean Air Strong Economies Act to block the federal Environmental Protection Agency from implementing more stringent ozone regulations. Co-sponsor Shelley Moore Capito warned that “the EPA’s proposal to lower ground-level ozone limits will only weaken our state’s already troubled economy.”
Now, in response to President Barack Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan, Capito has introduced the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) to “fight back against the assault on coal, and the broader threat to affordable, reliable energy nationwide.”
Co-sponsored by Manchin, ARENA would force the EPA to demonstrate that its proposed power plant standards are achievable and to provide state-specific model plans, extend compliance dates, prohibit the EPA from withholding highway funds for noncompliance, and prevent implementation of any plan that harms state economies, jeopardizes the electricity systems, or disadvantages electricity ratepayers.
“This legislation is another critical tool to stop federal overreach that will inflict real harms on the states, their citizens and taxpayers, regardless of whether they live in an energy-producing state like West Virginia or not,” said State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Morrisey leads a group of 15 state attorneys general suing the EPA for abuse of its authority. He testified last week before a Senate subcommittee. “States should not be forced to invest in and move forward on the EPA’s edict,” he affirmed, “while those very rules are being argued in court.”
Capito, Manchin, Morrisey – one for all and all for one, in defense of West Virginia. Imagine what they might accomplish if they could work together with our public servants in Washington, instead of having to spend so much time and energy fighting against them.