COMMENTARY | President Obama put a stop to controversial plans that would further tighten smog rules, which would have made the EPA even more powerful than it has become, according to The Associated Press. The announcement is thought to have stemmed from recent reports that show job growth has been stagnant through August.
The EPA has been active since the first weeks of the new administration. Obama has effectively used the regulatory agencies of the executive branch to enforce his will unopposed on the American people. I agree that not caring about the environment is irresponsible, but the EPA has morphed into a left-wing, radical monster that employs a cadre of sympathetic scientists and seeks out small minority groups to stage town hall meetings to fake public support.
Obama uses the regulatory arm of the executive committee because Congress has no say and our representatives would never let their people get voted down in the face of zero opposition. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all Kentucky senators support the REINS act, which would require Congress to approve every new major regulation by the White House before it takes effect.
I live in eastern Kentucky, and the overwhelming majority of citizens here support the commercial mining of coal by private business. Over 90 percent of the population would gladly start drinking Schlitz beer if our drinking water did happen to become contaminated just so we wouldn’t interfere with coal production, which is the lifeblood of the region.
The sad truth is that nothing like that is happening. Waterways are tested during mining operations, and if certain levels of earth metals or other contaminants are present, the mine gets shut down. We derive nothing but coal severance taxes, thousands of high-paying jobs and mechanical capabilities on a massive scale from strip mining. Any pollution is within the parameters of “normal” as far as the mining itself is concerned. The majority of carbon is produced at electricity generation plants.
Strip mining in the form of mountain top removal is the prime target of Obama’s EPA. New regulations have made permitting a new mine close to impossible and made constructing hollow fills illegal for the most part. We are land poor in Eastern Kentucky. Forced to live in the flat creek bottoms, spring flooding destroys homes and other property annually. After a mining operation finished reclamation, which is guaranteed by bonding by the way, we have hundreds of acres of flat land situated outside the flood plain.
Golf courses, prisons, factories, sub divisions and even a modern sports complex have been built on reclaimed mining land. Obama has effectively ended the only economical way of generating flat land we had. He has tried to snuff out our life blood, and even if outsiders protest that they don’t want the water spoiled, they don’t have to drink it. If the environmentalists want to violate our state’s rights and stop us from mining coal, I say they can be the first ones to freeze to death come winter and Obama can draft his anti-coal legislation in the dark.