Republicans are calling on Environmental Protection Agency officials to visit the places where its new new emissions standards for coal-fired power plants could have the deepest impact—and are likely be the most unpopular.
The agency has scheduled 11 listening sessions at its regional offices, none of which are in the states that rely most on coal for their electricity.
"The EPA officials planning these listening sessions apparently do not want to listen to those who work in the coal industry," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a Thursday letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. He lamented that the 10 states with the highest percentage of coal-fired electricity—including his own—were omitted from the public meetings.
In the House, 17 lawmakers have joined Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to call on the agency to include coal states in its listening sessions, The Hill reports. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity chimed in with a Friday statement: "Coal communities must have a seat at the table as EPA considers the path forward for the existing power fleet."