June 18, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander to drop a bill that would delay implementation of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation on coal emissions.
"By opposing Sen. James Inhofe in his effort to block the costliest Environmental Protection Agency mandate ever proposed (the Utility MACT rule) — you are acting as nothing more than a pawn in Obama's 'War on Coal,'" Wilson wrote in his letter to Alexander.
Alexander is offering legislation instead that would merely delay implementation of the rule regarding mercury emissions, which Wilson accused him of "attempting to provide cover to other Obama foot soldiers".
Sen. Inhofe has described the Alexander effort as a "cover bill" that still "kills coal but just puts it off for six years."
The EPA's mercury emission regulations require power plants be retrofitted with new technologies that cost billions of dollars to implement. Rather than going through that trouble, many older coal-fired plants are simply shutting down leading to a drop in demand, which is costing coal mining jobs.
Wilson wrote that the regulation could cost as much as $108 billion to implement, could lead to a shutdown of 20 percent of the nation's coal capacity, and potentially kill 1.6 million jobs, citing congressional committee estimates.
"You have frequently invoked the legacy of Ronald Reagan over the course of your political career, referring to yourself as an 'activist conservative' who believes in growth and prosperity through limited government," Wilson wrote, concluding, "Your support for this economically crippling regulation stands in stark contrast to that legacy and those stated beliefs — which is why I hereby call upon you to join your Republican colleagues (and Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Ben Nelson) in supporting Senator Inhofe's legislation."
A Senate vote is expected Wednesday, June 20, on the Inhofe measure.
Letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, June 18, 2012 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Letter-Alexander-Coal-6-18-12.pdf
Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please call us at 703-383-0880 or visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.