Congress reasserts its authority over the EPA

By The West Virginia Record | Dec 8, 2015

“This week we will join together with the House to send President Obama and the EPA a strong message: No more attacks on coal. No more attacks on domestic energy. No more attacks on the people who produce energy.”

That's what West Virginia's Evan Jenkins told colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives last Monday night, on the eve of two bipartisan rebukes of the president's plan to shutter coal-fired power plants.

“Not only will the EPA’s plan destroy jobs,” Jenkins warned, “but it will increase utility costs for consumers and lead to higher household electricity bills for all American families. Our seniors, the middle class, and Americans on fixed incomes should not have to bear the burden of increased costs. Our economy is still struggling to recover. People are struggling to survive.”

The following day, Jenkins, fellow West Virginia Representatives David McKinley and Alex Mooney as well as a substantial majority of the House voted to repeal the EPA's Clean Power Plan with its limits on emissions from existing plants and to block the agency's rules on emissions from new plants.

Shelley Moore Capito introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. Senate last month, co-sponsored by Joe Manchin, denouncing the EPA Clean Power Plan as “a carefully crafted, precise, and very meditated assault on certain areas of the country.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and other state AGs are challenging the Plan in court.

Morrisey recently co-authored a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, reminding him “to acknowledge to negotiating nations at Paris 2015 that the centerpiece of the President's domestic CO2 reduction program is being challenged in court by a majority of States and will likely be struck down” and that “any agreement arising from Paris 2015 must be submitted to the United States Senate for ratification under clear constitutional requirements.”

Our public servants deserve praise for working together to reassert the rights of our state and the prerogatives of our national Legislature.

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