Federal Judge Orders Investigation on Economic Effects of EPA Regulations

A federal judge is requiring the EPA to evaluate the economic impact of amped up environmental regulations in recent years. While this is good news for struggling coal communities and a struggling energy industry, it is still too late to fully reverse the destruction to coal and power plant communities but it could slow down future damage. District Judge Preston Bailey put the EPA under court order on Wednesday to quickly evaluate how many jobs have been lost due to air pollution regulations. Fox News reported that the ruling was a result of statements made by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy who said that an analysis would take years, which Bailey called unacceptable. Judge Bailey clearly stated that the EPA is required by law to analyze economic impact on a continuing basis while enforcing the Clean Air Act. According to the court order, the EPA has until December 31st to provide documentation of employment loss and shifts that have resulted from adjustments to and enforcement of the Clean Air Act. For local miners, their families and many locals affiliated with the energy industry, this is considered excellent news.