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The war on coal: Dems do battle

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Sunday, June 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

New federal emission limits that, in reality, will eliminate future coal-fired power plants are generating considerable heat for an obstinate Obama administration — most notably from his own party.

Democrat governors of Montana and West Virginia, along with a group of U.S. senators, mince no words in urging President Obama to rein in the overbearing Environmental Protection Agency and its relentless war on coal.

Based on estimates from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, more than 280 coal-fired power-generating plants would be scheduled for shutdown because of the harsher regs.

“For too long the EPA has overreached with its power at the cost of countless American jobs and critical investments,” says Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. He's among those demanding that the Obama administration amend emission standards for new power plants.

But as some Dems spout off about the EPA, environmental groups and a dozen states have threatened legal action if the EPA doesn't finalize new emission standards. Reportedly, they're waiting to see a White House climate policy.

And lest we remind Pennsylvanians, coal provides nearly half of the electric-power generation in the commonwealth, where coal mining accounts for more than 49,000 jobs, according to the National Mining Association.

This is no fight for the faint of heart. Democrats who step up to defend coal are going to have to dig in and get their hands dirty — especially considering that Mr. Obama now is said to be ready to announce draconian limits on existing power plants.

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