Opinion

Harm to seniors: EPA rules impacting electric rates

An editorial from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A recent report from the 60 Plus Association is more reason for concern when it comes to crippling new federal regulations and higher electric bills.

The report, which was unveiled last week by U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and 60 Plus Association founder and chairman Jim Martin, concludes that the new EPA rules targeting coal-fired power plants will increase electric prices at rates above the general rate of inflation while also leading to higher utility prices of America’s elderly population that exceed the modest cost of living (COLA) adjustments that many who are 65 years of age or older depend upon.

The report also found that energy costs are adversely impacting lower-income seniors afflicted by health conditions, leading them to forego food for a day, reduce medical or dental care, and fail to pay utility bills, according to Griffith.

We aren’t surprised by the findings of this particular study, as we have been warned for several months now that the new EPA rules targeting coal-fired power plants will lead to higher electric bills for most Americans, including senior citizens and those low-income families living right here in the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. And Griffith correctly points to a comment made by then presidential candidate Barack Obama back in 2008 as evidence of this unfair burden that is being placed on senior citizens.

Griffith says when President Barack Obama was a candidate back in 2008 he told a newspaper editorial board with the San Francisco Chronicle that his plan for a cap and trade system would cause electricity rates to necessarily skyrocket.

“This comment has always troubled me,” Griffith said. “When Obama said — consumers, he included you and me…

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