EPA Announces Mountaintops Can Stay On Mountains

Posted by | January 16, 2011 08:10 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

I’ve blogged frequently about how the Obama Administration will now turn to administrative actions that do not require the approval of Congress.  This week the EPA reversed a controversial Bush Administration decision to allow one of the largest mountaintop mining projects to proceed.

The Environmental Protection Agency revoked the permit for one of the nation’s largest mountaintop-removal coal mining projects on Thursday, saying the mine would have done unacceptable damage to rivers, wildlife and communities in West Virginia. It was the first time the agency had rescinded a valid clean water permit for a coal mine.

Most of the regulatory decisions that the administration makes over the next two years will stand.  This might be an exception however.  With nominally Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin leading the charge it is easy to see a rider on EPA’s budget bill ordering reinstatement of the permit.

“Today’s E.P.A. decision is not just fundamentally wrong, it is an unprecedented act by the federal government that will cost our state and our nation even more jobs during the worst recession in this country’s history,” Mr. Manchin said.

Manchin ran a commercial during the campaign with him shooting the cap and trade bill.  Maybe he should have blown up a mountain instead.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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