The War on Coal is winding down slowly

By The West Virginia Record | May 1, 2018

The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the signing of the peace treaty ending the War of 1812. If British General Edward Pakenham had had a cell phone, or even a beeper, he might have received notice of the treaty-signing before the battle began and been able to avoid his embarrassing defeat to Andrew Jackson.

Sometimes, whether from ignorance or inertia, battles continue after a war's end.

This phenomenon may explain the random skirmishes still occurring in the War on Coal, which President Donald Trump and EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt have officially declared to be over. Maybe some of the holdovers from the previous administration didn't get the memo, or they're consciously attempting to continue hostilities.

“The EPA [should not] and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy,” Pruitt declared last fall when he announced the scrapping of the EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its onerous emission standards. 

“The past administration was unapologetic, they were using every bit of power, authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers on how we pick electricity in this country,” he affirmed. “That is wrong. … It is right for this administration to say the war is over.”

West Virginia State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey challenged the CPP in court before Trump took office, and he's still targeting leftover rules and regulations hampering our state economy.

Recently, Morrisey's office petitioned the federal government to clarify onerous regulations that stymie the production of steel, with adverse consequences for coal suppliers.

“Federal regulations must be clear, concise and take into account economic impact,” Morrisey said. “Economic success cannot thrive with the inconsistent, case-by-case application of rules and, in this case, West Virginia needs legal certainty to protect coal jobs and the livelihoods of those who depend upon coal’s success.”

The war is over, but the battles continue. 

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Virginia Attorney General's Office

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