MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 12 US states have filed a lawsuit to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enacting its Clean Power Plan, a White House-ordered regulatory scheme that could badly damage the coal industry and result in higher electricity costs.
The lawsuit was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and included the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The EPA proposed applying emission standards to all existing power plants, with the threat of crippling fines, triggering fears that many plants could be closed and thousands of jobs lost.
When new regulations, imposed by US President Barack Obama’s administration, take effect, Americans are expected to see their bills eventually increase by at least 10 percent annually.
When Barack Obama was a presidential candidate in January 2008, he promised that "electricity rates would necessarily sky-rocket" under his policies and boasted that "if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it's just that [it] will bankrupt them." Now Obama seems to be fulfilling his promise, forgetting that Americans may lose their jobs.
The goal of the new scheme is to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. However, the plan’s opponents argue that the scheme is unnecessary, as the US power sector’s carbon emissions have already declined by 15 percent over recent years.
“Those, who say this rule will make a difference in lowering global greenhouse gas emissions aren’t being straight with you,” United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts wrote in a letter to members.
“It is bad for the economy, both on the local and national level. It’s bad for America, because it will help destroy what’s left of the manufacturing and industrial base in this country, sending more jobs overseas to third-world countries,” Roberts wrote.
The United Mine Workers union organized several street protests against Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
The National Mining Association estimates that more than 300 plants will close nationwide due to the new EPA rules over the next six years. When mines and plants shut down, manufacturing costs rise and unemployment figures increase.
Coal generates 40 percent of America's electricity, more than any other energy source. The coal industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs across the United States.