Rep. Rahall: Obama EPA is appointing itself ‘Judge, jury, executioner … and Almighty God’

July 22, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

Every four years, West Virginia’s Democratic political leaders wonder why they can’t convince voters in the state’s coalfields to support Democratic presidential candidates — at least in big enough numbers to make us a “Blue State” again.

Could one reason be that during recent Democratic administrations, West Virginia party leaders spend three years attacking their leadership’s efforts to protect the environment and public health — and then when an election rolls around the public debate is so polluted that it’s impossible to have an honest dialogue?

I don’t know. But one thing is clear: My good friend Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., wins the award for most, uh, colorful rhetoric in responding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final water quality guidance for surface mines in Appalachia.

Here’s what he said, according to a report from Greenwire (subscription required):

With this guidance document, EPA has not only appointed itself judge, jury and executioner, but has also deemed itself Almighty God. While EPA goes to great pains to state this guidance is not legally binding, we are all too aware that it will use it as a club to subdue all parties involved in the permitting process to its will.

9 Responses to “Rep. Rahall: Obama EPA is appointing itself ‘Judge, jury, executioner … and Almighty God’”

  1. Ralphieboy says:

    Once again a WV politician ignores the science and tows the company line. Classic cognitive dissonance.

  2. Nanette says:

    Ken, did you REALLY expect anything different? I knew what was coming after yesterday’s EPA story.

  3. PlethoDon Juan says:

    I’ll be sure to wear my “jack boots” whilst wielding my “club” then. Seriously though you gotta love the language…if there is anything I miss about Don Blankenship, and there isn’t much, it was his colorful way of putting down those who give a flip about the natural world. He could trump just about any politician in demonizing anyone who didn’t love coal. I don’t recall anything in the Guidance about deification of the EPA though. As an atheist I would have to stop believing in myself if that is the case. Great choice of words Nick Joe!

  4. Vernon says:

    I’m trying to figure out what Rahall means by the EPA being “executioner.” Who is being executed? If people are dying in the coal extraction regions, I don’t see how it’s the EPA actively doing it, unless he means by their lack of strong enforcement action to protect public health. If that’s what he means, then I’m sure he’d want to strengthen, rather than weaken, the EPA’s authority to protect our communities.

  5. Johnathan says:

    I seem to recall Joe Manchin reaching out to Barrack Obama for a long time before finally recognizing the political reality: folks in Appalachia don’t like the anti-coal policies of this President. As much as you might wish the tail will wag the dog, politics don’t work that way. Voters in Appalachia are the marketplace and pols like Manchin and Rahall are only giving them what they want.

  6. Vicky Westfall says:

    They push them hard as candidates , Why don’t they support someone that will actually help WV., and quit worrying about what party they support.

  7. bo webb says:

    To me Rahall’s message is loud and clear; it is acceptable to him that a segment of his constituents health be sacrificed in order for him to be supported by a coal industry that is willfully and systematically eliminating mountains, communities, and people for no other reason than high yield profit.
    It is time that strip mine workers search their moral compass and decide if they too are willing to accept the same, keeping in mind that the demise of health in mtr communities includes their wives, their children, their grandchildren and the yet to be born. Taking their family and moving 50 miles from their mtr job does not remove the associated guilt.
    Absolutely, people need jobs; but is mtr really a job worth bragging about or to be proud of knowing what it is doing to the health of innocent people?
    As I be

  8. Scott14 says:

    Bo, I have been surface mining for 20 years. NO guilt here. I sleep very sound at night.

  9. hebintn says:

    “With this guidance document, EPA has not only appointed itself judge, jury and executioner, but has also deemed itself Almighty God.” … Rahall

    I’d say it’s about time Almighty God did something about the wreckage surface coal mining is making of His beautiful mountains.

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