It sounds absurd. We have candidates for public office in the United States pledging to prevent the impoverishment of our people by our own government? Here Senator Mark Obenshain explains.

For Immediate Release

September 20, 2013

Contact: Paul Logan

Phone: 804.573.9638

Obenshain Vows To Stand Up To Overreaching Coal-Fired Power Plant Regulations,
Pledges Support for Coalfield Employment Enhancement Credit

Obenshain: “Virginians deserve an Attorney General who will stand up
for coal jobs in Virginia, and I will be that Attorney General”

Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) pledged that, as Attorney General, he will fight for Virginia workers and ratepayers by standing up against the federal government’s ongoing War on Coal and opposing any efforts to eliminate the coalfield employment tax incentives that help keep vital coal jobs in Virginia. His remarks followed the Environmental Protection Agency’s issuance of a proposed rule that analysts believe will “effectively doom construction of new coal plants far into the future,” according to the New York Times.

“These new Obama administration regulations on the coal industry have a clear and intended effect: to make it impossible to build new coal-fired power plants in Virginia or anywhere else in the country. These outrageous policies are proof positive that this Administration is set on waging an all-out assault on the coal industry and the 45,000 Virginians whose jobs depend on it,” said Obenshain.

Virginia’s coal industry is estimated to be responsible for 45,210 jobs in Virginia, with $3.4 billion in total payroll for coal and coal-induced jobs.

“These job-killing policies hurt all Virginians,” Obenshain added. “Virginians on a fixed income shouldn’t have to worry about how they can afford to keep the lights on because bureaucrats in Washington want to rapidly take coal out of our energy mix. And policies that harm Virginia’s coal industry also hurt manufacturing, rail, ports—even the data centers that rely on abundant and affordable energy.”

“The Clean Air Act only allows the EPA to mandate ‘demonstrated technologies,’ but with this announcement, the EPA is requiring that coal-fired power plants meet emissions standards that no coal plant has ever achieved, relying on technologies that are still many years away from commercial feasibility,” Obenshain noted. “This strains the definition of ‘adequately demonstrated’ beyond belief.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has never before operated as an energy regulator. Its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is conferred by the Clean Air Act, which requires that such regulations be achievable on the basis of technology that been proven to be successful.

The carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods that would be necessary to achieve the EPA’s new limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour have never been demonstrated on a commercial scale, and industry analysts say that new coal plants cannot be built in the foreseeable future at any rate under 1,600 – 1,900 lbs/MWh. According to the American Public Power Association, commercially feasible carbon-capture technologies are at least eight years out, prompting Reuters to predict that the new standards “could be the death knell for new coal plant construction.”

“Virginians deserve an Attorney General who will stand up for coal jobs in Virginia, and I will be that Attorney General,” said Obenshain. “And not just for them, but for ratepayers, dockworkers, entrepreneurs, and everyone else affected by these misguided EPA regulations. That’s part of what it means to stand up for all Virginians.”

“This is only the beginning,” Obenshain added. “Next year, the EPA plans to come back and adopt new regulations for existing power plants. We have to draw a line in the sand and say that we’ll stand up against overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs and economic opportunity in Virginia.”

Obenshain also pledged support for the Coalfield Employment Enhancement Credit. “When it comes to reforming the tax code, we need to take a look at what’s working and what isn’t, and it’s clear to me that the coalfield employment incentives are working for Virginia. I support the Coalfield Employment Enhancement Credit and I’ll strongly defend it, because I know how important it is to economy of Southwest Virginia.”

Virginia Democrats, including Senator Mark Herring, have refused to speak out against these policies, even as Democrats in other coal states have been outspoken in their opposition. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that the Obama administration “beat[s] the living daylights” out of the state, while Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) stated that he is “dead-set against the EPA and their scheme to issue emissions standards that would make it impossible for new coal-fired power plants to be constructed,” and Secretary of State Alison Grimes (D-KY) declaring that she “will not stand idle as overreaching regulation adversely impacts jobs and middle-class families.” Senator Herring, by contrast, has refused to speak out against this clear and deliberate attack on the way of life for so many Virginians.

Mark Obenshain is the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Virginia. He currently represents the 26th District in the Senate of Virginia.


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Is it appropriate for the Federal Government to issue environment regulations? Yes. Unfortunately, instead of just enforcing the law and protecting the environment, the EPA appears to be on some kind of religious crusade. That sort of irrational behavior has fatal consequences.  That because the welfare state has its limits. As electricity becomes more expensive in the United States, more jobs will leave this country. Eventually there will not be enough people working to pay the taxes required to feed, clothe, and and shelter the poor.

Note the article referenced below and the not my problem attitude. Someone has forgotten what Benjamin Franklin said about fighting tyranny.

We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.
Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 – 1790)

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