Attorney General Russell Coleman

Attorney General Coleman OP-ED in Fox News: 'Our air is great, but Green New Deal is tough to swallow'

OP-ED by Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman

FRANKFORT, KY (March 19, 2024) – Attorney General Russell Coleman penned the following opinion column about the 24-state challenge his Office is leading with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) punishing new air quality rule.

The op-ed was first published by FoxNews.com here:

The Biden administration’s armies of climate activists need to take a deep breath. Seriously, breathe in some of the cleanest air in America’s history. 

After decades of improvements in technology and collaboration, our nation’s air quality is at its best point on record. In fact, our strict air quality standards far outpace Western Europe’s.

Unfortunately for hardworking Americans, the best isn’t good enough for President Joe Biden and his base. Their radical green agenda has always been more about advancing a political worldview than protecting our health and environment. 

The EPA recently published aggressive new air quality standards — the latest punishing attempt to foist the Green New Deal on hardworking families by executive fiat. The new rule takes a multi-billion-dollar cudgel to regulate particulate matter, which is more than 20 times smaller than a single human hair. 

The result would be widespread devastation. Good luck trying to get a permit to build a new power plant or manufacturing facility almost anywhere in America. This rule is practically begging employers to take jobs and investment overseas to countries with less stringent air standards.

Construction on new roads and bridges would grind to a halt. Small businesses and farmers would be forced to purchase costly new equipment. Families already struggling through historic inflation would see their utility bills spike and jobs move overseas. In total, experts estimate this one rule could cost the economy $200 billion and 1 million jobs by 2031. 

Along with West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, our office is leading a coalition of 24 state attorneys general in challenging the EPA’s outrageous and out-of-touch new rule. We’re fighting back against an EPA that has far exceeded its statutory mandate and lost any contact with reality. The agency’s constant drive for newer and more aggressive green policies ignores scientific reality and makes it impossible for businesses to plan for the future. 

The current guidelines — called the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)—were approved during the Obama administration and kept in place by President Donald Trump. They represent some of the strictest standards on the globe — tougher than the European Union and far more stringent than the world’s worst polluters in China, India and Indonesia. And they work. Air quality has consistently improved here over the last 20 years.

Although the EPA paints a rosy picture of how it will force states and localities to conform to the new standards, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that as many as 30% of counties nationwide will be out of compliance under the new rule. Falling out of the EPA’s good graces will force everyone from major manufacturers to local restaurants to endure endless red tape from big-government bureaucracy at its worst. 

One of Kentucky’s greatest competitive advantages is our low-cost and reliable energy. This rule is a dire threat to our abundant fossil fuel resources and would overburden our power grid with expensive and unproven energy sources. Once again, the coastal elites are imposing rules that make it impossible for middle America to thrive.  

Here’s the truth the environmentalists don’t want you to know. Only 16% of all particulate matter comes from power generation or other industrial activity. The largest drivers are wildfires, road dust and other non-industrial sources. Would it really make sense for last year’s Canadian wildfires to shut down economic activity across the U.S. – undermining countless jobs along the way?  

The EPA’s new standard is the sharp edge of a radical green agenda that panders to activists and leaves the rest of us to pick up the pieces. 

Instead of using every lever of federal power to advance an out-of-touch green ideology, we encourage Biden to join with state attorneys general to take on the issues keeping families awake at night. 

We can secure the border and stop the flood of deadly fentanyl into our communities. We can get serious about the surge in violent crime that plagues families from our biggest cities to our most rural counties. We can respond with strength to the spikes of organized retail crime, carjackings and more. 

We, too, care deeply about being good stewards of our air, land and water for future generations, but on behalf of the families we swore an oath to protect, we are taking the EPA to court to stop the insanity. If only President Biden would take a deep breath, we could collaborate on what really matters.




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