Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued a statement following the Supreme Court's announcement that it will not review Mingo Logan v. EPA, a case deciding whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had legal authority to retroactively revoke the Spruce No. 1 Mine permit. As Governor, Senator Manchin filed the lawsuit against the EPA for overreaching its authority under the Clean Water Act after the Spruce Mine permit had been approved after an exhaustive, approximately 10-year regulatory process that included extensive review by the EPA. After the company had already invested millions of dollars in the project, the EPA retroactively vetoed this permit.
"I am extremely disappointed that our country's highest court declined to hear such a monumental case that not only affects West Virginia coal mining jobs, but also impacts business decisions across the board," Senator Manchin said. "After the Corps of Engineers approved Spruce Mine's permit, the company spent almost five years spending millions of dollars to comply with the EPA's regulations as they moved forward with this project that would have created about 200 good-paying jobs with benefits.
"How can any business confidently invest, when the EPA regularly changes the rules? No one should be allowed to change the rules in the middle of the game. Once a permit has been approved, it should not retroactively be revoked. American investment and business confidence start with consistency in our laws and certainty in the marketplace. We simply cannot afford to stifle energy production and good-paying jobs.
"For years now, we have been fighting the EPA and this Administration's destructive war on coal that is costing countless American jobs and economic development opportunities. At a time when our country desperately needs a comprehensive energy policy, the federal government should be an ally, not an adversary, in helping to strike a balance between protecting the environment and creating good American jobs. I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to set up legal parameters for the EPA, limiting when the agency can exercise its veto authority."