“YES” on H.R. 3409, The Stop the War on Coal Act
This week, the House will vote on the Stop the War on Coal Act (H.R. 3409), which would protect American jobs and support U.S. energy production by blocking the implementation of a number of rules and fixing the problem of the EPA usurping the authority of the states and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Obama Administration has been consistently hostile to the coal industry. This bill would help reverse the negative implications of his administration’s policies and protect American jobs, which have suffered on a large scale as a result of overregulation of the coal industry by the EPA. The relief cannot come soon enough, considering this week Alpha Natural Resources announced a production cut of 16 million tons and the elimination of 1,200 jobs in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Alpha’s CEO Kevin Crutchfield has attributed this loss to the fact that companies like his face “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. Last year, a Texas coal company, Luminat, also announced it was forced to make 500 layoffs. The culprit, again, was overregulation by the EPA. “The company cited the EPA’s new cross-state pollution rule as the impetus for the decision.”
Not only does the war on coal hurt American jobseekers; it harms consumers as well. The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris has explained how the assault on coal is ultimately an assault on American consumers:
“Regrettably, the Obama Administration has taken actions that significantly reduce coal’s share of America’s energy portfolio now and in the future. The proposed and newly implemented regulations affecting coal will drive up energy costs for Americans and business owners and destroy jobs, but do little to protect the environment. These regulations will not only drive up the costs of goods and services that promote public health, such as access to affordable heating and air conditioning, but also divert resources away from activities that could truly improve America’s public health. They are based on a weak scientific foundation and would significantly increase compliance costs for existing coal plants and effectively bar construction of new ones, which will increase the cost of electricity for consumers and business.”
The time to combat the harmful overregulation of the coal industry is now, and H.R. 3409 moves us in the right direction. This must be done for the sake of the economy, taxpayers, and consumers.
Heritage Action supports H.R. 3409 and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard.