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Wheeling Newspaper Editorial: Rein in EPA Permanently

An editorial appearing in the Wheeling Intelligencer this week criticized Congress and two of West Virginia’s Congressmen for what it termed their “lukewarm support” of the coal industry. 

Here is a portion of the editorial:

“This week it was announced that [U.S. Rep. Alan]Mollohan [D-W.Va], with U.S. Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Rick Boucher, D-Va., have "introduced legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, including coal-burning power plants." Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

“In the announcement, Mollohan was quoted as stating that, "EPA must be stopped from moving further down this very dangerous road - one that would throw West Virginians out of work and increase energy prices for all Americans."

“That has been our contention since early last year, months before Mollohan finally announced on the day before House of Representatives action on cap and trade that he would vote against the bill.

“While Mollohan was accomplishing little to defend the coal industry, state legislators were putting themselves on record strongly on the side of West Virginians, formally questioning the wisdom of proposals such as cap and trade. Among those lawmakers, incidentally, was state Sen. Michael Oliverio, D-Monongalia, who is Mollohan's opponent for the Democratic Party nomination for Congress.

“Apparently Mollohan, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1983, finally understands that "a simple majority vote of Congress" indeed can rein in the EPA.

“We hope the bill introduced to do that is not just a pre-election attempt by Mollohan to curry favor with constituents upset about his record on coal. In the long term, passage of the bill would merely delay damage the EPA could do to our state and others.

“The bill would not block the EPA from acting. It would merely require a two-year suspension of the agency's authority to establish new rules on stationary sources. At the end of that time, the EPA once again would be given a free hand.

“If enacted, then, the bill would not even guarantee peace in our time in the coalfields. It would merely give Mollohan an election talking point.

“If he truly has the best interests of West Virginia at heart, Mollohan will insist on amending the bill to make the suspension a more long-lasting one.

"Perhaps the prospect that his lukewarm support for West Virginia's coal industry has placed his chance for re-election in jeopardy prompted U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., to change his stance - slightly – on the Environmental Protection Agency. We wish he had made a more meaningful shift."