Coal Industry Takes Yet Another Shot at the Clean Power Plan

Earthjustice statement on the introduction of a new Senate bill to stop EPA’s centerpiece for climate protection


Phillip Ellis, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

Today, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a new bill seeking to obstruct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with the first-ever limits on the biggest source of carbon pollution, existing power plants. These limits, known as the Clean Power Plan, are the centerpiece of EPA’s efforts to protect public health and the environment from the most devastating impacts of climate change. These proposed safeguards have been under constant political attack even before they were introduced.

Statement from Marty Hayden, VP of Policy and Legislation for Earthjustice:

“This bill is yet another misleading attempt to trick families across our country into believing that Big Coal has their best interests at heart.

Center for Responsive Politics /
The mining industry was among the top five contributors to Sen. Capito during the 2013–2014 election cycle. (View larger image.)

“The decline of coal is a reality—not because of environmental safeguards, but because of decreased demand for coal and low natural gas prices that are outcompeting it. In addition, investors see the writing on the wall in terms of coal’s future in the face of climate change. The sooner we start discussing commonsense solutions to climate change instead of doing the bidding of the National Mining Association, the better off all of our families will be. Among the poison pills in the Capito bill is a provision that would essentially allow the mere filing of litigation by polluters and other opponents of the Clean Power Plan to indefinitely delay its implementation while the world warms.

“There is overwhelming evidence to show that the Clean Power Plan can spur innovation and new jobs, strengthen the reliability of our electrical grid and protect the health of our families and communities, if Congress is willing to give it a chance.”


A coal-fired power plant on the Ohio River, west of Cincinnati.
A coal-fired power plant on the Ohio River, west of Cincinnati. Since early 2012, approximately 8 million comments have been submitted by people across the country, supporting clean energy and carbon pollution limits for power plants. (Photo courtesy of Robert S. Donovan)

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.