Changes at EPA won’t change coal policies

It would be nice to expect that Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson’s resignation means relief for coal country. It does not, sadly. President Barack Obama’s so-called war on coal will continue.

Jackson led the EPA throughout Obama’s first term, and ramped up efforts to derail the coal industry and thus, force electricity prices up for tens of millions of Americans. Jackson’s agency also took other action, including rejection of surface mining permits that already had been granted, to hit miners hard.

But the EPA is merely the club chosen by the White House with which to pound the coal industry into dust. Jackson is only following orders – though it is clear she does so with relish.

Obama’s replacement at the EPA will proceed with the war on coal. That will change only if members of Congress do the right thing for their constituents and insist coal be part of a rational, comprehensive national energy policy.