West Virginia ranks at the bottom in most categories compared to other states. There is, however, one category in which we rank near the top. That category is implementing laws passed by our legislature.
Most states and the federal government pass laws which are then put into effect through rules adopted by a state or federal agency. Because of the leadership of Delegate Joe Albright of Wood County adopted legislation in 1994 which required legislative approval before rules could be put into effect.
A recent Environmental Protection Agency rule would have severely restricted mining coal. This rule was adopted as a result of the Clean Water Act, passed by the Congress in 1972. Acting under their own rule the EPA refused to issue mining permits. West Virginia and other states sued the EPA in a District of Columbia federal court contending the EPA did not have authority to restrict such permitting. The court recently ruled against the EPA. The ruling was an important victory for coal mining. In West Virginia such a rule could not have been put into effect without legislative approval.
In March of this year the same court ruled in favor of Arch Coal and overturned a 2011 mining permit vetoed by the EPA. Thus restoring the permit, which had been approved by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The permit was for a Logan County mountaintop removal mine. The court ruled that the EPA had overstepped its authority by revoking the permit.
The Obama administration is big on promises of improving the economy, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and increasing employment. Because of his actions we have a stagnant economy, more dependence on foreign oil and a national unemployment rate of over 8 percent.
Some of the actions Obama has taken are to propose tax increases on oil and gas production, veto of the Trans Canadian pipe line and increase environmental standards for coal burning power plants. Obama has never been in the private sector, and he doesn't know how it works. Proof of that is when he recently met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and admonished members by telling them to spend some of the trillions of dollars they have to hire more people. Business does not hire people because they have money in the bank, they hire people because there is a need for their skills. He trumps that statement by telling business "You didn't do that" somebody else did it for you."