EPAer says coal policy 'painful at every step'

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Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has found another video of a regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) saying something he probably shouldn't say.

In the video, which you can view on Inhofe's YouTube site, EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding tells a Yale University gathering that, “Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country,” that “if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem.”

He then claims Jackson's policy decision was “painful” because “you got to remember if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal. And to say that we just think those communities should just go away, we can’t do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested. And it’s painful. It’s painful every step of the way.”

It may be difficult for Spalding to square that comment with the many benefits his boss and agency have claimed would accrue for the nation as a result of its regulations on the coal industry, one example of which being the $140 billion in "health benefits" produced by its ban of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Oklahoma senator - who would become chairman of the powerful Senate Environment and Public Works Committee if voters return a Republican majority to the upper chamber - has scheduled a Senate floor speech this evening concerning the Spalding video and EPA policies toward coal and other fossil fuels.

Earlier this year, Inhofe posted a video in which an EPA regional administrator in Texas explained the agency's approach to regulation of the oil and gas industry as similar to Roman legions crucifying five or six people chosen at random in a newly conquered province.

The now-former EPA official Al Armendariz said the Romans would "go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them. That town was really easy to manage for the next few years."


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Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner