WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) on Wednesday applauded Attorneys General Jack Conway (D-KY) and Patrick Morrisey (R-WV) for their continued leadership in standing up to EPA’s overreaching proposed carbon regulations.
“Attorneys General like Conway and Morrisey understand the importance of standing up to EPA, which if left unchecked will regulate Americans out of jobs and into supersized energy bills,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE. “With all that is going wrong for this Administration, it is sad that the President continues to gamble with American’s economic security and our nation’s global competitiveness.”
Attorneys General Conway and Morrisey are part of a group of 10 state attorneys general who have pursued litigation in challenging EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
On Wednesday, Attorneys General Conway and Morrisey held a press conference at which they denounced EPA’s proposal in advance of the Kentucky State Legislature’s Energy and Environment Joint Committee meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow in Ashland, KY.
“I commend Attorneys General Conway and Morrisey for rising above partisan politics to lead the national effort opposing unnecessary and job-killing regulations,” Duncan said. “We expect that as more attorneys general and state leaders realize the devastating impacts facing their residents under EPA’s proposal, the groundswell of opposition across the country will continue to grow.”
Kentucky and West Virginia stand to be particularly hard hit by EPA’s proposed regulations, not only because of their significant coal mining economy, but also because coal-powered electricity helps keep energy costs low for families and businesses. Kentucky gets 92 percent of its low-cost electricity from coal, while West Virginia uses coal for even more of its electricity: 95 percent.
Both states’ economies have already suffered from a number of other regulatory initiatives coming from the Obama White House, in the form of lost jobs and economic devastation. In many cases, jobs have left the state and have not been replaced. Energy costs for both Kentucky and West Virginia are significantly lower than the national average. Despite this fact, more than half of families in both Kentucky and West Virginia spend at least 20 percent of their after-tax incomes on power bills.
If implemented, EPA’s proposed regulations will further devastate both Kentucky’s and West Virginia’s coal industries, threatening potential job losses in the tens of thousands and forcing both states to dramatically reduce their use of coal, forcing an over-reliance on more expensive and less abundant resources.
Instead of regulating American coal-based electricity out of existence, the administration should work with the industry to bring about more advanced clean coal technologies. Today, American coal-fueled electricity is cleaner and more efficient than ever before. The industry has already invested nearly $120 billion to reduce emissions by 90 percent and is putting in an additional $27 billion between now and 2016.