Speeches could sway war on coal

An editorial from The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS, W.Va. — It might surprise some Coloradans to learn that two-thirds of their electricity is generated in coal-fired power plants. Likewise, Missouri residents may not know 83 percent of their power comes from coal. In Michigan, certainly not thought of by most people as a “coal state,” about half the electricity is generated at coal-fired power stations.

The word about coal needs to spread. Perhaps speeches such as one given by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., last week will help.

Manchin was addressing a friendly crowd at the National Western Mining Conference. But it was held in Denver, meaning many Coloradans may read about the West Virginian’s speech in their local newspapers.

As President Barack Obama’s administration intensifies its war against coal and reasonable electricity prices, it will be critical that more Americans learn of the campaign’s effect on them.

At one time, coal was responsible for more than half the electricity generated in the United States. That figure has dropped to about 38 percent, in large measure because of Environmental Protection Agency rules adopted during Obama’s presidency.

Electric bills already are going up in some regions, as utilities shutter coal-fired power plants by the scores.

Yet opposition to the White House scheme has gained traction primarily in states thought of as coal producers, such as West Virginia. Even in places such as Colorado where substantial quantities of coal are mined, there seems to be little public outcry…

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