(BOWLING GREEN, Ky.) – Model legislation sponsored by the Bluegrass Institute,Kentucky’s free-market think tank, which gives states an effective constitutional weapon in their arsenal to push back against federal environmental overreach, received unanimous approval by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force.
The Intrastate Coal and Use Act declares in no uncertain terms that the regulatory oversight of coal mined, sold and used exclusively within the borders of a state belongs to the state itself – not mid-Atlantic bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency who have neither the will nor local knowledge to effectively weigh the benefits and costs of a natural resource as valuable as coal.
“Federal bureaucrats would have us believe that allowing states to regulate their coal industries would result in increased pollution and lax enforcement,” Bluegrass Institute acting president Jim Waters told the task force at ALEC’s recent States and Nation Policy Summit. “To the contrary; it’s much easier for citizens to hold state and local officials accountable than it is to try and contain a regulatory monster in far-away Washington, D.C.”
The bill now goes to the ALEC board for final approval, following which it will officially be made available to states for adaptation to their individual needs.
“This bill crystalizes the concepts contained in the Ninth and Tenth amendments that enumerate the federal government’s power – including limiting its commerce-regulating power to interstate commerce only,” Waters told ALEC’s task force. “This legislation takes this constitutional protection beyond just a theoretical concept by offering practical and real protections for our coal miners.”
This is extremely important for Kentucky and other states that rely on low electricity rates made possible by a plentiful supply of coal, Waters said.
According to the Kentucky Coal Association, “black rock” provides the Bluegrass State with 93 percent of its electricity needs and some of the nation’s cheapest energy rates.