|Capito Demands Answers From EPA|
|Friday - June 17, 2011|
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. this week, wrote a strongly-worded letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency demanding the agency show proof that jobs were considered when issuing new regulations for coal-fueled power plants over the past year.
Capito’s letter comes on the heels of frustrating news that American Electric Power will shut down five plants in West Virginia and Ohio, resulting in job cuts and higher utility costs across the board.
“The way I see it, either the EPA did not run proper analysis or the administration knew the rules concerning coal-fueled plants would cost jobs and increase utility costs and still went ahead anyway. Either way, this is unacceptable,” stated Capito.
Despite sluggish economic growth, an unsustainably high unemployment rate, and a market so plagued with uncertainty that businesses cannot even fathom hiring or expanding, the administration has insisted on continuing its assault on the energy industry which employs millions of hard-working Americans.
“Whether its providing cheap gas so companies don’t have to pass their costs onto consumers, or keeping home utility prices low so Americans can spend money on other things, or employing millions of workers to exploit resources found right here in America, the energy industry quite literally powers the American economy,” stated Capito. “Especially in West Virginia, the energy industry provides an important source of tax revenue for local and state governments and our manufacturing and service industries benefit from low cost electricity, making them more competitive.”
Specifically, Capito requests “copies of all internal memoranda, communication, analysis, and documents regarding the EPA’s consideration of the impact on economic activity and employment (cumulative and non-cumulative) related to these rules and regulations.”
Last month, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., introduced H.R. 1872, the “Employment Protection Act,” which would require the EPA to take into account jobs and economic activity prior to issuing a regulation, policy statement, guidance, implementing any new or substantially altered program, or issuing or denying any permit—essentially any action taken by the EPA.