With the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest onslaught against Appalachian energy providers, now is the time for Kentucky legislators to consider sending a loud and clear message to the power hungry bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
The fact that nearly one-third of all coal mined in Kentucky remains within the borders of the Bluegrass State provides the appropriate kind of messenger.
If Kentucky legislators are serious about protecting the economic vitality of the Commonwealth’s most prized natural resource and the affordable energy rates Kentuckians have enjoyed for decades, legislators must consider a bill that reinforces the rights provided to the Bluegrass State and its citizens by the 9th and 10th Amendments – a bill that boldly proclaims that all commerce taking place exclusively within the borders of Kentucky is under the jurisdiction of Kentucky legislators, not the EPA.
The implications of reinforcing such constitutionally provided rights would be huge for Kentucky. For one-third of Kentucky coal country, the EPA would no longer be able to drive up energy rates, deny new work permits, stifle Appalachian job creation, and threaten the 18,000 coal miner jobs currently on the books. One-third of Kentucky coal country would be regulated exclusively by the Commonwealth, whose government the EPA recently named a 2012 Energy Star Partner of the Year. It seems even the EPA recognizes that Kentucky can take care of its own energy and environmental needs without the lumbering fist of the mid-Atlantic bureaucrats.
Kentucky legislators need to protect the sovereignty of Kentucky’s energy sector, and a bold message of local governance and strict adherence to the US Constitution would do just that.