Despite hysterical cries from radical environmentalists, neither Sen. Rand Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act nor Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act would allow activities that bring harm to Kentucky’s wildlife or waterways for the sake of propping up the coal industry.
Instead, these bills put definite limits on a federal bureaucracy that has run roughshod over Kentucky’s constitutional right to regulate its own internal commerce and energy sectors.
The consequences of the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest regulations – especially its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a rule the EPA claims offers direct benefits of up to only $6.2 million but that carries a price tag of $10 billion – have been severe for all-too-many Kentuckians forced to deal with the economic side effects of the politically fueled policies coming out of Washington these days.
In 2012 alone, Kentucky’s coal industry lost 22 percent of its mining employment. Eastern Kentucky and Appalachian miners were explicitly targeted by the EPA, and experienced a 30-percent decline in employment.
Overall, mining production in Kentucky declined by 91.4 million pounds.
Cause and effect, anyone?