War on Coal Update: Court Halts EPA Overreach

As we look to the Supreme Court to hand down a ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare this week, here's an example of a different federal judge doing her part to halt the Obama administration's regulatory onslaught.

The background: The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for a coal mining company to build a facility in West Virginia, a state hit hard by the recession and extremely reliant on the mining industry for jobs and revenue.  Then, in January, 2011 the Obama EPA swooped in and revoked the Army Corps' permit, citing environmental concerns (which were taken into account in the Army Corps' permitting process).  

Now, in March, 2012 - over a year after the project was stalled by the EPA - it turns out the agency never had the authority to revoke the Army Corps' permit in the first place.  A year of jobs and private-sector investment put on hold thanks to the EPA's regulatory overreach.

Check out the AP story below...



Federal judge: EPA overstepped authority revoking permits for Arch Coal surface mine in W.Va.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A federal judge says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority in revoking permits for what could now become West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mine.  

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., ruled in favor of St. Louis-based Arch.   She declares a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water pollution permit for the Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County is "valid and in full force."  

Arch spokeswoman Kim Link says the company is pleased with the decision.  

The EPA vetoed the corps' permit for the mine in January 2011, saying it would cause irreparable damage to the environment.  

The move enraged both the coal industry and West Virginia politicians, several of whom have since introduced bills to try rein in the EPA.