We at the West Virginia Roundtable appreciate the ardent support offered by our state's political leadership for our energy industries.
The energy debate in Washington continues, and West Virginia faces a new threat: EPA's proposed greenhouse gas New Source Performance Standards for new fossil-fuel based generating facilities.
The new standards being proposed by EPA under the Clean Air Act will effectively end construction of new coal-fired power plants. This regulation requires that all plants using fossil fuels meet a threshold the most modern, efficient coal boiler cannot meet.
If implemented, the regulation will stifle promising new technology for cleaner-burning coal and put an end to upgrades to existing plants to improve efficiency and facilitate more electricity.
What this policy may end up achieving is further erosion of employment in the mining and electrical generation industries, as well as higher consumer electric rates and an end to new manufacturing and construction jobs.
For these reasons, we applaud our political leaders for remaining vigilant in their efforts to encourage the EPA and the president to create differentiated standards based on fuel type and to establish supercritical coal generation technology as the performance standard for new coal-based electricity.
Sen. Joe Manchin is leading efforts in the Senate, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at the state level, and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is leading a move in the House to stop these devastating regulations from being imposed on the coal industry.
They need our support in this important fight.
Arbogast is president of the West Virginia Roundtable.