Get in touch with reality in Congress

Only a handful of people in West Virginia and Ohio would know Charles and David Koch if they met the two on the street. Few care whether the billionaire brothers do well financially or not.

But they do care about their electric bills. They do worry whether their jobs will be erased by federal regulations.

After the Environmental Protection Agency this week announced yet another round of new limits on coal-fired power plants in our states and 21 others, conservatives in Congress vowed to press ahead with plans to rein in the agency.

That prompted this reaction from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): “Republicans should get in touch with reality, stop fighting the Koch brothers’ losing battle to allow unlimited pollution and do what’s right for our country.”

What is wrong this picture? Everything.

U.S. industries already are subject to some of the toughest air pollution rules in the world. No one has suggested rolling them back.

And as far as what’s right for our country, do the people whose electric bills will soar if the EPA is allowed to proceed not count? Are we not Americans, too?

Reid is right about one thing, though: Members of Congress, including liberals like him who have backed the EPA campaign, should get in touch with reality. It is that millions of middle- and low-income families are being hurt by the EPA. It is about them, not the Koch brothers – or, for that matter, the very rich backers of the Democrat assault on affordable electricity – that lawmakers should be worrying.