West Virginia sent Democrat Joe Manchin to Washington, D.C. to join Democrat Jay Rockefeller in the Senate, helping preserve the Democratic majority in the Senate.
Joe Manchin talked tough to get elected and promised to shoot down Obama’s cap-and-trade legislative plans:
But Obama — who knows a little something about bringing a gun to a knife fight — brought the EPA to Joe Manchin’s cap-and-trade fight, because regulations and permitting do not require a vote by Senators:
A move by the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the long-standing permits for a mammoth coal mine in West Virginia sends a strong signal that President Obama plans to implement key parts of his agenda even though newly empowered Republicans can block his plans in Congress.
In the aftermath of the November elections, many political pundits predicted that the once-unchecked Obama legislative machine would turn it’s energies to federal rulemaking as a way to circumvent Republicans on Capitol Hill. And the EPA’s decision last week suggests that those forecasts were spot-on.
Much to the consternation of the West Virginia delegation in Congress, the coal industry, and the working people of the Mountain State, the agency took the unprecedented step of revoking a mining permit that it had issued four years ago to Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia.
The revocation prompted unusually harsh responses from West Virginia’s two Democratic Senators.
At this point, there’s not much West Virginia can do. The state went for McCain, so it’s not exactly a swing state high on the administration’s “make nice” list.
Manchin is up for reelection in 2012, but by then, all that coal digging equipment will be rusted and the jobs long gone:
The EPA’s decision could affect dozens of other mining projects across Appalachia, where firms have been blasting the peaks off mountains for years to reach coal seams and then depositing the remaining rubble in surrounding valleys. While the federal government issued permits for hundreds of these activities under the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, the EPA adopted new environmental guidelines in April and is now reviewing 33 other pending permits.
But not to worry, Mountaineers, Obama has a solution for all those empty hilltops. Windmills!
As for the rest of you states who think those dirty coal diggers are getting what they deserve, just wait until the Obamacare, offshore oil drilling, and other regulations are issued. You’ll get yours, my pretties, and your little dogs will too.
Update: Obama has come out in favor of a “21st Century” regulatory structure meant to embrace “common sense rules of the road that strengthen our country without unduly interfering with the pursuit of progress and the growth of our economy.” Don’t believe it, and the EPA is the first evidence. Obamacare in particular requires such a broad regulatory structure that the sheer weight of new regulations will freeze businesses within and outside of the health care industry.