The Ripon Forum

Volume 45, No. 1

Winter 2011 Issue

Overreaching by the EPA

By on October 21, 2014

by SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO

If the Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated one thing over the past two years, it’s their intent on using regulatory authority to pick winners and losers in the energy industry.

As I’ve learned first-hand, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is keenly committed to enforcing the Administration’s anti-coal agenda with no regard for the devastating effects on our local and national economies. The EPA’s attempts to control climate change through regulation and stall the approval of mining permits can only lead to coal states like West Virginia bearing the brunt of poorly thought-out policies that translate into greater job loss and higher energy costs.

We absolutely cannot afford a scenario where delayed policy decisions lead to a slow bleed of jobs and planned investment throughout America’s coal country. Energy producers expect and deserve certainty and clarity to conduct their business, but the current administration continues to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their concerns.

The EPA’s attempts to control climate change through regulation and stall the approval of mining permits can only lead to coal states like West Virginia bearing the brunt of poorly thought-out policies that translate into greater job loss and higher energy costs.

In January, the EPA delivered a crushing blow to the entire energy industry when the Agency vetoed the existing Spruce Mine permit, shutting down a viable mine that would have provided almost 300 good-paying jobs. For nearly a year, the EPA kept the Spruce Mine Permit in limbo by continuing to delay action on the permit in question. As the EPA has been purposefully slow to act, hundreds of mining jobs have been put at stake. What’s more, this veto puts all previously issued permits at risk, casting a wide veil of uncertainly over not just coal, but any industry subject to 404 permits.

For example, coal is our most abundant, cheapest natural resource, yet it’s borne the brunt of the EPA’s attacks. When you turn on your computer or flip a light switch or watch TV, chances are you are using energy produced from coal. So when it’s hard to mine this resource, utility prices rise and everyday costs increase.

This is an issue that affects every American, not just those of us who live in coal-producing states like West Virginia.

This Congress is committed to reining in the EPA in order to protect American jobs. As my first piece of legislation in the 112th Congress, I introduced a bill which seeks to delay for two years any action by the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and methane gases under the Clean Air Act. This will give us enough time to review the proposed rulemaking authority and research how it will affect jobs and our economy.

This is an issue that affects every American, not just those of us who live in coal-producing states like West Virginia. In order to protect our energy security, as well as our energy prices, Congress must work together to enact a comprehensive energy plan that uses all of our natural resources.RF

Shelley Moore Capito represents the 2nd District of West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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