Should the EPA have to consider the economic impact of new rules and regulations before they are put in to place?
?If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it's just that it will bankrupt them,? the president said, in a quote interpreted by critics as a campaign promise that coal would have no future in an Obama White House.
West Virginia Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito acknowledged this week that several factors, including the declining price of natural gas, have led to recent mine closures. But she said the Environmental Protection Agency?s ?extreme rules and regulations played a major role.?
?The president?s extreme policies are crippling entire towns and making it harder for workers to find jobs,? Capito, co-founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus, said in a written statement. "Because of the president's War on Coal, thousands of West Virginia families have to worry about where their next paycheck is going to come from."
She has added language to a bill which the Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on this week that would force the EPA to consider the impact on jobs and the economy when issuing new rules and regulations.
Billy Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said the EPA has specifically created ?impossible standards? for electricity-generating plants. He also said the EPA is now ?bullying? West Virginia into accepting water-quality standards over which the state once had some determination.
Raney said the coal industry wants to comply, but the administration has created ?unrealistic timetables? and there is no technology to reach the goals.
?This goes right back to the administration?s policies and the EPA,? he said.
Raney and others said they agree that the United States should have a balanced energy policy that relies less on foreign oil, but the green energy alternatives backed by the president cannot shoulder the country?s energy demand over the short term.