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The EPA, West Virginia, and The Looming 20 Percent Hike In Energy Costs

If there is one regulatory onslaught that is not really being talked about much on the campaign trail, or in the debates, it’s the Obama administration’s clean power plan. As I’ve written in other posts, it seems to unfairly impact states that voted for Romney in 2012, it places fixed-income seniors in dire financial straits, and puts a target on the back of rural America. No part of the country understands the looming burden than coal country.


Yesterday Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) questioned what amounts to a huge increase in the cost of living for over 400,000 people living in her state. Energy costs are projected to increase 20 percent, though the Environmental Protection Agency’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe, said the plan would decrease energy costs by seven percent for the average American:

Right now we have 430,000 low and middle income people in West Virginia who’s take home pay is $1,900 a month. They spend 17 percent of their take home money to pay for their energy,” Capito said. “When this goes up, say 20 percent, this is going to have a cost to them, a human cost to them.”

Capito also didn’t buy McCabe’s answers regarding the slight cost elevation to clean the atmosphere.

“I would take exception to that, if it goes up 20 percent and you’re bringing home $1,900. That’s a significant amount,” she said.

If states don’t have their plans that accommodate the goals of the EPA’s clean power plan, then a federal one will be implemented. Some governors are considering or openly stating they will refuse to comply with these burdensome new standards. In Minnesota, Republicans in the state House have sent a letter to state Attorney General Lori Swanson and Governor Mark Dayton–both Democrats–to challenge the EPA’s incoming regulations. Additionally, three Minnesota power companies have said they’re expecting to increase their rates since they rely on coal powered plants for electricity. The power plant regulations alone from the EPA have 300,000 jobs on the chopping block. It will also adversely affect black and Hispanics in the country, where millions of jobs could be gutted from these communities.


Also, the EPA and the Obama administration aren’t fooling anyone regarding electrical costs, they’re expecting them to go up, so the seven percent reduction talking point is just cute.

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