Opinion

Despite a setback, states must continue EPA fight

An editorial from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — We were not surprised by last week’s decision by a federal appeals court to throw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s controversial plan to curb pollution at the expense of coal mining and the nation’s existing coal-fired power plants. That’s because the court warned early into the proceedings that it would be difficult to issue a ruling on a proposed rule that is not yet final. And we certainly don’t dispute that argument.

But West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and the 14 other state attorney generals who are challenging this controversial rule, were correct in taking proactive steps to challenge the EPA and the Obama administration in court before the new rules were finalized. And they most certainly should refile their legal chance once the EPA rules become final later this summer.

 The lawsuits from the coalition of 15 states and the nation’s largest privately-held coal mining company argued that the EPA exceeded its authority last year when it proposed the far-reaching plan to curb pollution from the nation’s existing coal-fired power plants.

The states challenging the EPA plan are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin. Noticeably absent from that list is Virginia — a coal-producing state.

Opponents correctly argue that the EPA plan will — and already has — resulted in the loss of thousands of coal-mining jobs and the closure of coal-fired power plants. They also warn that the closure of these coal-fired power plants will drive up electricity rates for Americans across the country…

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