States help in coal fight against EPA

The late President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

Sometimes that is all too true.

But governments in some states, including ours, are helping in a very useful way.

The Environmental Protection Agency is on a campaign intended to shut down coal-fired power plants.

It has become clear its goal is to close virtually all of them.

The EPA does not seem to care about the devastating collateral damage that would result from such action.

It would devastate regions such as West Virginia and eastern Ohio where coal mining is integral to the economy.

But it also would send electric bills soaring for tens of millions of Americans and the businesses that provide jobs for many of them.

Some in the private sector are fighting back. They have filed lawsuits in attempts to block – or at least delay – the EPA. Among leaders nationally in that last-ditch defense has been the Murray Energy Corp., with headquarters in Belmont County.

Earlier this month, Murray Energy filed another lawsuit against the EPA’s proposal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

But the firm will be far from alone in standing up to the agency. Nine state attorneys general have filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of the company.

The attorneys general include Mike DeWine from Ohio, along with his counterparts from West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

What the attorneys general are doing – and what many of them have done in previous lawsuits – is provide valuable support and expertise in battling the EPA. Their interventions make a difference.

They really are government “here to help.”

No one can say how the most recently filed lawsuit will turn out. Again, however, the attorneys general are doing something important for their constituents.

They are to be encouraged to keep up the good work now and in any future opportunity to help the private sector fight back against the EPA.