Could be the last year of the War on Coal

By The West Virginia Record | Jan 5, 2016

One more year. That's all we've got to endure. One more year of the recklessness that has characterized the current presidential administration. One more year of the long-running war on coal, national prosperity, the U.S. Constitution, and American exceptionalism.

But it's going to be a long year, because the candidate who got elected twice, by promising to fundamentally transform America is running out of time to complete his stated mission and in the months ahead is likely to put all his hope in audacity.

We'll have to battle him on many fronts and hold our ground – or, better yet, force him to retreat – until he leaves office next January.

One of those fronts is the battle against the Environmental Protection Agency's “Clean Power Plan,” a battle already joined and should be won by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and his counterparts in 26 other states.

Having filed a lawsuit two months earlier asking a federal appeals court to euthanize the EPA's overreaching plan, Morrisey, et al. at the end of December requested a stay on the implementation of that plan pending the court's ruling.

The AGs say that the plan exceeds the EPA’s authority by double-regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to make dramatic changes to their energy portfolios and shift away from coal-fired generation. They say efforts to prepare for implementation of the rule already are causing harm, much of which – such as costs incurred – is irreversible, even if the rule is struck down.

Morrisey and the other defenders of state prerogatives urged the court to “take quick action and stop the continued implementation of this rule until the court has adequate time to hear our evidence and has an opportunity to decide this case on the merits.”

As we said, it's going to be a long year. But it'll be a year to remember if we all hang together and work for new federal leadership in 2017.

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