Millions being spent to defeat EPA proposals

The Environmental Protective Agency proposals were not even released on June 2, when groups started attacking them. One is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who is against any regulations on fossil fuels, especially coal.

In reality there are six other groups spending millions to defeat the new regulations on coal power plants. They are: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity (AFP), American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), National Mining Association (NMA), Heritage Foundation, and American Energy Alliance/Institute for Energy Research.

On May 29, 2014 Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Chairman of Catholic Bishop’s (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging that the new carbon pollution rules on existing power plants should “protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate change.”

When Pope Francis was elected, he urged all of us to “be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

Here in our state as well as Kentucky, Virginia, and Ohio, it is the poor who are affected the most. I would say this is a pro life issue. The unborn are affected by the air their mothers breathe, the water they drink, and the soot that fills the atmosphere. As the Bishop, so well stated, the health and welfare of all people need to be protected from the harmful emissions from these coal plants. We also need to encourage the EPA to increase regulations for refineries as well as chemical plants.

Then on June 13, Governor John Kasich signed SB310 to freeze Ohio’s renewable and energy efficient standards. That is so sad. The governor did not listen to thousands of members of different churches who urged him not to sign the bill. Ohio may lose many businesses that make or install renewable energy. Hopefully, W.Va. will continue to increase the use of wind and solar power.

The Heritage Foundation which is a conservative think tank, funded by the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobil is the strongest group denying climate change. As Speaker John Boehner, recently said, ” I am not a scientist.” That is true. But I am sure he is not an expert on all the other issues that congress needs to address. He and others need to listen to the scientists. I am not a scientist, but I remember some of my Earth Science class. I learned that human beings breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. I learned that plants, especially trees, take in our carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are the lungs of the earth. We are destroying our forests and burning more fossil fuels. We are destroying earth’s lungs and smoking way too much.

Now Murray Coal Company, who operates in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Utah is suing the EPA. They don’t really care about people because earlier they filed a suit concerning the amount of coal dust in a mine which causes black lung.

Much money is being spent to elect friends of coal not friends of the people.

Margaret Meeker