Oppose the war on affordable electricity

By the end of this week, the Environmental Protection Agency must issue its latest proposals for carbon-emission standards on new coal-fired power plants. According to reports, those rules will require new plants to include equipment that either does not yet exist or is prohibitively expensive.

Environmental radicals know very well how much damage such standards will do – and they do not care. Here in West Virginia, Rob Goodwin, of Coal River Mountain Watch, told a reporter he understands full well the expected changes will be bad for those who rely on the coal industry. Despite the misery they will cause, “I think these rules don’t go far enough,” Goodwin said.

Federal regulation that intentionally, gleefully places an entire industry and everyone who depends on it in a no-win situation should not stand. It is astounding to think so many in Washington do not comprehend the magnitude of the economic domino effect such an assault would have. It is frightening to think perhaps they do understand.

“The proposed regulations attempt to force standards on coal emissions that cannot be achieved, even with the most advanced current technology,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said.

There is still opportunity for adjustments to the proposed standards. Coal industry officials and economists must do their best to make sure officials in President Barack Obama’s administration are unable to say they did not have all the facts and analysis. Manchin and every other member of Congress from Appalachia should continue to fight against this continued, blatant abuse from the EPA.

But lawmakers from dozens of states without major coal industries should be joining the fight. Though they may not have many miners among their constituents, their states do include millions of people who rely on coal-fired power plants for reasonably priced electricity.

Obama’s war on coal also is a war on affordable electricity that will be detrimental to tens of millions of American families. They need to be enlisted in the fight – a losing one, at this point – to prevent the White House from doing irreversible harm.