EPA Ratchets Up Campaign to Destroy Jobs

Washington, D.C., January 14, 2011 — The Competitive Enterprise Institute today sharply criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to revoke a Clean Water Act permit of an existing surface coal mine in Logan County, West Virginia as an abuse of power that will drive away investment in future energy projects and destroy jobs.

“The EPA’s rationale for revoking the Clean Water Act permit for the Spruce Fork Mine is to protect an insect that lives for a day, and which isn’t even an endangered species,” explained William Yeatman, a CEI energy policy expert. Yeatman has written extensively about the Obama Administration’s attacks on surface coal mining in Appalachia. (See, e. g., “Pests Over People,” The Washington Times, May 2010.)

“In this difficult economy,” Yeatman continued, “it is outrageous that the EPA would trade jobs for bugs, just so it can appease the President’s environmental base.

“Worse still, the EPA’s ill-conceived bug protections threaten virtually all economic development. In order to crack down on the Spruce Fork Mine, the EPA had to manufacture a new “pollutant”—salinity,” said Yeatman. “The problem is that any surface disturbance can increase salinity in nearby streams. As a result, environmental pressure groups and NIMBY activists have a powerful new weapon with which they can stifle job creation.”

“EPA’s revocation of an already-granted permit for an operating mine is only the latest outrageous step in the Obama Administration’s campaign to scare away investment and destroy jobs in America’s energy industries,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “Who is going to invest in a new energy project if a permit can be yanked after the project is fully permitted and the investments have been made?”

> See “EPA Blasted as It Revokes Mine’s Permit” in today’s Wall Street Journal