Conservatism In The Real World: W. VA Complained About Coal Regulation 3 Months Ago, Now There’s An Epic Chemical Spill
The Attorney General for West Virginia filed a legal brief in November complaining about EPA regulation of the coal industry.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed what he calls a “major” brief with the U.S. Supreme Court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule on cross-state air pollution.
“This is a really important issue because it really gets to the whole question as to how much authority states have and the federal government has in implementing the Clean Air Act,” said Morrisey.
West Virginia is joined in the brief by other states including, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The brief claims that the EPA exceeded its authority under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) when the agency promoted a rule in 2011 announcing new air pollution cuts and imposing federal implementation plans on states. The brief also argues the CAA requires the EPA to give states an opportunity to decide how to meet new air pollution standards.
Today in West Virginia the government has been forced to truck in thousands of gallons of water because a chemical used in the coal manufacturing process has leaked into the water supply. Originally the authorities estimated that 2-5,000 gallons of the chemical leaked. Today they estimate that it was 7,500 gallons. The poison control hotline in West Virginia has received nearly 800 calls from people who have experienced adverse effects from the leak.
Morrisey, the Attorney General, is a Republican but in the case of West Virginia it doesn’t matter. Both parties there are owned by the coal industry. Joe Manchin, the Democratic Senator, rose to his seat in part thanks to a campaign ad showing him shooting the Senate’s Cap & Trade bill. This stuff is not limited to any single party but rather the conservative ideology and the almighty dollar.
Look, silly government red tape is useless and a hindrance to legitimate business — but some things need to be regulated, specifically fuel sources that are an environmental hazard in their production and use. Why?
BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN DIE.
So when conservatives make simplistic arguments about regulation, particularly environmental regulation, you should really ignore them. This stuff kills people, destroys the environment and is just generally speaking bad news. You don’t have to be a tree hugging environmental hippie to understand this, just a normal thinking human being.
(Thanks to James Overholt, who tipped me off to this)