CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Delegate Rupie Phillips, D-Logan, today praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to halt implementation of President Barack Obama and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while lawsuits fighting this plan are argued in court.
“Southern West Virginia is breathing a sigh of relief today,” Phillips said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for someone to tell this arrogant president and his lapdogs at the EPA that they can’t run roughshod over our miners and economy to satisfy environmental nutjobs who have no respect for our way of life. I want to particularly thank Bob Murray of Murray Energy for taking a strong stand and helping to lead the charge against the Obama administration.
“While I’m glad the court has drawn a line in the sand against this president’s illegal agenda, I’m sad that it’s taken seven years of destruction to our coal industry and the loss of thousands of good-paying jobs for the courts to tell him to stop,” he said.
Phillips said the administration’s environmental policies have led to the retirement of more than 400 coal-fired power generating units, costing West Virginia thousands of jobs. In January alone, nearly 2,000 West Virginia coal miners received layoff notices.
“Tuesday’s stay won’t bring back any of those lost jobs or power plants, but it might help halt the hemorrhaging this rule has caused our coal industry,” Phillips said.
“Even if the court eventually rules this administration has gone too far, it’ll do little to help the men and women who have been struggling every day to find a way to put food on the table and clothes on their kids’ backs after losing their jobs,” he said. “I wish this president and these EPA fatcats could see the looks on the faces I see every day – to see their hurt, to feel their pain – so they could know the toll their shameful actions have taken. If this Clean Power Plan case finally ends in our favor, my hope is that we can all work together to help those who have suffered for far too long and get our good men and women back to work again.”