Government Can Help, Sometimes

The late President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'” Sometimes that is all too true.

But government in some states, including ours, is helping in a very useful way.

President Barack Obama is using the Environmental Protection Agency in a campaign intended to shut down coal-fired power plants. It has become clear his goal is to close virtually all of them.

Neither he, EPA officials, nor liberals in Congress seem to care about the devastating collateral damage that would result from such action. It would devastate regions such as West Virginia and Ohio where coal mining is integral to the economy.

But it also would send electric bills soaring for tens of millions of Americans and the businesses that provide jobs for many of them.

Some in the private sector are fighting back. They have filed lawsuits in attempts to block – or at least delay – the EPA. Among leaders nationally in that last-ditch defense has been the Murray Energy Corp., with headquarters in Belmont County.

Earlier this month, Murray Energy filed another lawsuit against the EPA’s proposal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

But the firm will be far from alone in standing up to the agency. Nine state attorneys general have filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of the company. The attorneys general include Patrick Morrisey from West Virginia and Mike DeWine from Ohio, along with their counterparts from Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

What the attorneys general are doing – and what many of them have done in previous lawsuits – is provide valuable support and expertise in battling the EPA. Their interventions make a difference.

They really are government “here to help.”

No one can say how the most recently filed lawsuit will turn out. Again, however, the attorneys general are doing something important for their constituents. They are to be encouraged to keep up the good work now and in any future opportunity to help the private sector fight back against the EPA.