Kentucky legislators continue to battle the Environmental Protection Agency and its unilateral attack on such industries as Appalachian coal mining. One of the most recent examples of Bluegrass leaders taking the reins to defend the $5.3 billion Kentucky coal industry is US Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
Congressman Whitfield organized a group of 220 members in the House to sign a petition to block the EPA’s sweeping new greenhouse gas regulations which threaten the 18,000 coal mining jobs currently in Kentucky. According to Congressman Whitfield’s petition:
“Affordable, reliable electricity is critical to keeping and growing jobs in the United States and [the EPA’s new] standard will likely drive up energy prices and threaten domestic jobs. Forcing a transition to commercially unproven technologies could send thousands of U.S. jobs overseas and raise electricity rates on families and seniors at a time when the nation can least afford it.”
Once again, the US Court of Appeals will be forced to decide which party is better able to strike a balance between the economic vitality of Kentucky coal and the environmental concerns which come with it – the directly affected local citizens, or the far and away bureaucrats in the EPA.