This coal state is leading the battle against Obama’s punitive, expensive environmental ‘power grab’

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 by

(Freedom.news) A coalition of 27 states have banded together to fight President Obama’s new environmental regulations, and one unlikely state in particular is leading that fight: West Virginia.

Unlikely, because the Mountain State is pro-union and leans heavily Democratic. But being a state largely reliant on the coal industry for survival, West Virginia lawmakers and officials have had enough of this president and his militant Environmental Protection Agency.

As reported by The Daily Signal, West Virginia is asking the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of Obama’s new regulations that, in part, place restrictive rules on the coal industry. The coalition of states is arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency, which issued the rules at Obama’s behest, overstepped its lawful authority by circumventing Congress to unilaterally implement the rules.

While the EPA is calling its new regulatory scheme the Clean Power Plan, states opposed to the regs have called their implementation an unconstitutional “power grab” and have said the plan will bankrupt the coal industry.

Though the states believe the law in on their side, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says time is not, The Daily Signal noted. As such, the states have asked the nation’s highest court for an emergency stay of the plan as it winds its way through the Judiciary.

At issue is whether the EPA will be allowed to become “a central energy planning authority,” Morrisey said.

A week ago the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case in an expedited manner but would not halt the agency from implementing the rules. Oral arguments are expected to begin in June with the legal battle likely stretching into next year, beyond Obama’s final term in office.

And that means that the EPA will essentially get to run out the clock, Morrisey told the news site.

“The EPA’s goal is to obtain compliance, whether or not the regulation is upheld in court,” he said, meaning that, in the meantime, the coal industry would have no choice but to comply – unless, of course, states simply refused, which has been suggested by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, another state heavily dependent on coal and which has joined the coalition of states suing the EPA.

The Daily Signal reported further:

In an unusual legal play at this stage of the litigation process, the states asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to grant the freeze in the rules. The court has invited the Obama administration to file a rebuttal by Feb. 4 and likely will hand down a decision the following week.

Morrissey says he is cautiously optimistic that the high court will grant a stay.

“The EPA has consistently run roughshod over the rule of law and West Virginia,” Morrisey said, adding that he believes the states will win a temporary ban because it is justified due to the fact the Clean Power Plan “is causing irreversible harm.”

Already, however, states are scrambling to comply with the plan, considered to be a key element of Obama’s larger effort to achieve climate change goals that were negotiated last year Paris.

The rules “require states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent before 2030  and give them until Sept. 6 to submit implementation plans to do it,” The Daily Signal reported.

Coal mines in the state have already been forced to cut back on workers, with 2,000 miners being laid off in 2015. State officials believe that more layoffs are on the horizon if coal production is cut further because of the plan.

See also:

The Daily Signal

The Hill

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