WV Coal Association VP Speaks with Group About EPA Rule
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on June 06, 2014 @ 12:55PM
Created on June 05, 2014 @ 6:06PM
Ever since the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule, which will affect existing coal fired power plants across the country, coal supporters have stood up and spoken out. On Thursday, a top ranking official with the West Virginia coal Association had a visit with a group of people in Morgantown to discuss the issue.
Members of the Morgantown Rotary Club met with West Virginia Coal Association Senior Vice President Chris Hamilton. He feels the EPA's proposal is unfair.
"There are separate rules that deal with the health effects of coal combustion. This has nothing to do with asthma, heart, circulatory, or respiratory issues," said Hamilton.
The proposed rule calls for a 30% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from existing plants by 2030. Many coal supporters believe the rule isn't economically feasible or necessary.
"We can take out every single coal fired plant in this country, that's operating today, and virtually have nil impact on world climate issues," said Hamilton.
This is a polarizing topic nationwide which has gained the attention of many local residents.
Mike Roberts is a Morgantown Rotary Club member who was at Thursday's event. He said, "It's great to have someone here because the issue is so important to the state of West Virginia and to all of our people who work in the coal industry."
Morgantown Rotary Club President Janette Gidley said, "It's imperative that individuals like this come in and speak at Rotary so we know what the issues are."
Coal advocates claim the EPA's ruling isn't just going to be devastating for miners. They believe the impact will be felt by everyone. Chris Hamilton said, "People need to realize household electric rates are going to go up."
That's why some people in the area are now beginning to speak out against the EPA.
"Everybody in West Virginia needs to stand up, support the coal industry, and not take this lying down, " said Roberts.
The United Mine Workers of America believes if the rule is passed 75,000 mining jobs in the United States will be lost within five years.
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