“A Clear Win for the People of West Virginia and Coal Miners Everywhere”

CHARLESTON - Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the EPA’s Mercury Rule is a major win for the coal industry and for American consumers.  The ruling affirms what we have argued from the beginning – the EPA’s actions under this rule and others was made without regard to economic consequences and were specifically designed to remove coal from the nation’s energy mix. 

"The West Virginia coal industry, its employees and the entire State of West Virginia have been particularly hard-hit by the impacts of EPA’s regulation which have spurred a massive closure of coal-fired power plants across the country," said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. "Today’s decision is an important first step in reigning in a clearly out of control bureaucratic agency that intends to implement its vision for America’s future regardless of Congressional intent, cost to the consumer, risk to electricity reliability and impacts to the nation’s coal mining regions.  We are still reviewing the decision and its implications, but I think it’s fair to say that the Supreme Court handed down a decision for common sense and affordable energy today."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on May 27 that, while incorporating important exclusions, contains potentially broad definitions that will expand jurisdiction, increasing permitting costs and delays. It also fails to provide the certainty promised by the administration, according to the National Mining Association (NMA).

In Congress, both the House and Senate are pushing back against the expanded WOTUS rule. A rider included in the House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill would prohibit the EPA from changing the definition of “navigable waters” and bar funding for the implementation of the WOTUS rule.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing May 19 on S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, introduced April 30 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming). S. 1140 passed the EPW Committee June 10, and awaits action on the Senate floor.

Tell Us How Important Affordable Electricity is to Your Life!

In the face of rising energy costs, many families and businesses must make tough choices about the best way to save money and make ends meet. This is why affordable electricity is critical to all Americans, as it allows more money to be put towards higher education for children, a family’s first home or a much needed vacation.  If EPA’s proposed carbon regulations take effect, the burden of energy costs will only increase, making these types of decisions even harder for households and businesses.

Our friends at America’s Power want to know why affordable electricity from coal is important to your family and community.  Share your story with them by visiting www.AmericasPower.org/share-your-story.

West Virginia 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins is the special guest for the next episode of The Coal Seam, the monthly television show of the West Virginia Coal Association.  Jenkins joins host Chris Hamilton for a discussion of his first 100 days in office, the ongoing efforts to help West Virginia’s coal industry fight back against the Obama EPA’s ongoing assault on coal, as well as other issues.

The Coal Seam is available via the West Virginia Library Television Network and your local public access channel.  Here is a list of the cable channels that carry The Coal Seam.

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy last Friday urging McCarthy to consider the devastating impact recent EPA regulations could have on West Virginia jobs.

Armstead was joined by legislative leaders from across the country at a White House Briefing sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Armstead asked McCarthy to consider the overreach of the EPA and pointed out that EPA’s impossible regulations have resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs.

“The Obama Administration needs to be reminded of the devastation that we know all too well, especially with the most recent layoffs that have resulted in thousands of West Virginians losing their jobs,” Armstead said after the meeting.

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