Getting Target Off Our Backs

Sierra Club officials, who likely speak for most environmental extremists, believe withdrawal from the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will be “a double whammy for our communities: It will result in increased rates of respiratory illness and premature death while worsening climate change.”

That is precisely the kind of scare tactic President Barack Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency used as an excuse to foist the CPP on the American people in the first place. It is also nonsense.

Obviously, people (not just Americans) should be trying to get their electricity in the most environmentally responsible way possible. But withdrawal from the CPP will not return us to the dark ages of wiping coal dust off our cars every morning and watching the sky above power plants turn a grayish yellow in the haze. In fact, there is no reason to believe it will delay efforts to find and cost-effectively use cleaner sources of energy.

Renewable energy companies that had been artificially propped up by Obama-era subsidies might now be forced to find a way to stand on their own, and deliver affordable energy to their customers. That is a good thing.

Meanwhile, coal companies and utilities can stop looking over their shoulder while being asked to chase unattainable goals, and instead focus on making meaningful changes and preparing for a transition on a timeline determined by real science and the markets, not by bureaucrats and politicians.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., is correct: “We should responsibly embrace all forms of energy production, do what we can to improve them and continue to explore new and innovative energy options.”

West Virginia and the other states Obama was punishing with his war on coal can do that now, without fearing the federal government has placed a target on our backs.