Obama’s War On Coal – and your electricity

January 19, 2011 06:59

Guess those electric cars will have to get their energy elsewhere. Keeping a campaign vow to bankrupt the industry, the administration revokes the permit for an approved, working coal mine in West Virginia.

IBD Editorials


We and others have warned that in the wake of November’s “shellacking,” the Obama administration would attempt to implement its agenda through regulations and rule making. As West Virginia’s coal industry has found, it matters not even if you follow the rules. In pursuit of this agenda, the rules can be changed on the fly.

The Environmental Protection Agency has revoked the coal mining permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine No. 1 in West Virginia’s Logan County.

The permit was issued four years ago and since then Arch Coal, which provides 16% of America’s coal supply, has followed every jot and tittle of the rules it was to operate under.

After Arch invested $250 million in the mountaintop mining operation, it will be shut down. When fully operational, it would have employed 215 miners directly, with another 300 jobs in support services. These are, pun intended, “shovel-ready” jobs.

As we have warned, the EPA said it was acting under the authority of the Clean Water Act, saying the mine employed “destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend.”

Funny, the EPA didn’t think so four years ago, when a Section 404 permit was issued, suggesting the extent to which this administration has politicized science. As if business and energy weren’t already operating in an uncertain regulatory climate, this action essentially renders worthless every government permit, approval or promise, particularly in an energy industry the administration seems determined to shut down.


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