The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 3, 2012

Your View: Invitation to disaster

By Tom Flanigan
Special to The Globe

CARTHAGE, Mo. — With our economy still fragile, the last thing Americans want to see is further destabilization, with the cost of living rising even more. But that’s what the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency promises over the next four years as it pursues a mandate to end coal use for electricity generation.

America’s most abundant, reliable and cost-efficient energy source, coal, has helped fuel our economy for decades. How can you suddenly declare coal unacceptable in the name of “environmental quality?” Americans support cleaner air but also know that, in the short term, economic stability must be our first priority.

Here in Missouri, 82 percent of electricity is coal-generated. Today’s technology has drastically cut pollution from coal-fired power plants, splashing some cold water on the EPA’s contention that coal is “too dirty.”

Ignoring the facts, the EPA’s latest clean air regulations would shut down many coal-fired power generators — forcing a shift to natural gas and newer, unproven sources such as wind and solar power.

The EPA and the Obama administration should listen to Americans’ concerns and support more American energy. I can tell you that after many years in public life, such behavior is an invitation to disaster for people who have been elected to represent the people’s will.

Tom Flanigan

Carthage

State representative