Last month, a group of West Virginia leaders, including Governor Tomblin and Senator Manchin, had a much-ballyhooed meeting at the White House with the EPA’s new administrator Gina McCarthy.

The members of the delegation got a chance to speak their minds about what they believe is a “war on coal” by the EPA.  By all accounts, McCarthy was attentive, taking notes and asking questions.

That was quite a shift from McCarthy’s predecessor, Lisa Jackson, who couldn’t be bothered with complaints from coal country.  But as it turns out, the difference between the two is in style, but not substance.

Within a few days the EPA will release its new rules on power plant emissions and, according to the Wall Street Journal, coal takes it on the chin. The Journal quotes a person familiar with the proposed regulations as saying the new limits will ban new coal-fired power plants.

The agency plans to accomplish its goal by setting carbon emission levels so low that coal power plants would have to install expensive and unproven carbon-capture technology to meet the standards.

“If reports are true, the EPA is set to issue a rule that will completely halt the development of new coal-fueled plants by requiring they meet unachievable carbon standards,” said Mike Duncan, President of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

And this is just part of that plan, according to Scott Segal, an attorney for the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.

“The bottom line is, the EPA is taking a very, very aggressive approach,” Segal said on Metronews Talkline Thursday.  “It’s sort of the tip of the spear for the Administration’s general plans to address carbon emissions.”

Next year, the EPA will release its new rules for existing power plants.  There’s no reason to believe those rules will be any less hostile to coal, which still fuels 39 percent of the electricity generated in this country.

These EPA actions will wreck West Virginia’s economy, which depends heavily on the coal industry for good jobs and tax revenue.  Yes, coal will still be exported to countries that value economic growth over environmental zealotry, but if the EPA succeeds, the domestic market will eventually dry up.

None of this is surprising. The Obama Administration and its EPA have consistently pushed for the elimination of coal as an energy source to satisfy its climate change agenda.

Administration officials have frequently let their true intent slip at candid moments, only to then return to the falsity that they favor an “all of the above” strategy when it comes to energy.

Perhaps we were better off when the caustic Jackson was in charge.  At least then the hostility toward coal was evident.  With McCarthy, West Virginia and the rest of coal country still gets the shaft. The only difference is it includes a congenial trip to the White House and the jotting of notes.



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  • Dumb Ohioan

    Got water Hoppy? "War on Coal" eh? You idiots can keep your licorice flavored water!

  • T

    Uhm, So, you guys touting The FBI and Natural Gas, which, is "Fracking" btw, are going to be leaving WV with Government related jobs that many in the state won't even qualify for and another industry the EPA/Government is Attacking and trying to put out business like coal?....Brilliant!...Freedom isn't something America is about anymore is it....What a shame how far we have lost our way! Authoritarianism is the NEW America I pitty our children and especially theirs!

  • PhotoBoothe

    What a crock. For the entire history of the coal industry it has railed against any new efforts at improved worker safety OR protecting the environment. When you see coal PR about wonderful mine reclamation work, don't forget that the real credit must go to Ken Hechler and the 1977 Mining & Reclamation Act, for requiring real improvement in that area.
    When the industry stresses its contribution to WV's tax base, just refer back to a coal-dominated legislature blowing off Gov. William C. Marland's efforts at a coal severance tax.
    More than anything, remember how coal company safety shortcuts have routinely KILLED WV miners. Remember THAT, every time the industry - helped by patsies like Hoppy - carry on like all are doing is fighting for "our miners."

  • bwmccarty

    So sad. The views of environmental people are so skewed. Natural gas pollutes the water table as well. The government wants us to use electric cars and things like that. All we're doing is lowering consumption from one item to another. Electricity and natural gas prices will explode once this actually happens. Remember you have to plug the damned car in which in turn gives power plants more demand. Coal works. If the demand goes up greatly for NG, the price will skyrocket. You do notice they changed all the terms to Climate change. It's a racket.

    • Shadow

      Electric cars are a good example of the "not in my backyard" attitude. Where do those folks that own them think the electricity comes from? OUt of the wall!

  • William

    Obama is a good man. Common West Virginia be easy on the guy he wants to preserve our natural beauty in this state.

  • Hop'sHip

    I read recently where there has been a flood of wealthy people from China, one of those countries "that value economic growth over environmental zealotry", seeking to buy homes here in America (not West Virginia) in an effort to find healthy environmental conditions for themselves and their family. I wonder how many coal or utility executives would live or allow anyone they care about to live, anywhere near a coal-burning power plant.

  • pw henderson

    I am blown away everytime I see a pro coal article that has no mention of the horrific health consequences of digging up and burning coal.

    Mercury, radiation, slurry pools, soot, dust from transport.

    I would personally kick in a couple bucks a month more in taxes to pay to help train younger W Virginians to work in the renewable industry. The Coal Industry will be all but gone in 20 years. Let it die and take with it, it's brutal affects on our children.

  • Buckethead

    That's right Debra but you can't get everyone to stick together and do it !

  • SameGame

    A typical WV democrat: I won't vote for Obama cause he's against coal, but I will vote for state democrats cause they're for the working people and they will fight for coal jobs, cause I'm ignorant enough to believe them.

  • Concerned

    New regs can't wreck an economy that's been wrecked as long as I can recall.

  • Debra

    Coal miners should just go ahead n pull out and let them try to power the nation with out them and while there at it they all should pull there 401ks out of the market !

  • Debra

    I'm wondering why the fracking business isn't being held at the same standards as coal