Enviros, Coal Advocates Push Messaging at EPA Listening Session

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NEW EAGLE, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on September 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, will be one of two plants in the region to be shut down, affecting 380 employees. The Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Obama administration have been taking major steps to get coal-fired power plants into compliance with clean air regulations. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
Nov. 7, 2013, 6:34 a.m.

Green groups and coal ad­voc­ates took a stand Thursday in re­sponse to the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency listen­ing ses­sion in the na­tion’s cap­it­al to so­li­cit com­ment on up­com­ing reg­u­la­tions of ex­ist­ing power plants.

A co­ali­tion of en­vir­on­ment­al or­gan­iz­a­tions, in­clud­ing the League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters, Si­erra Club, and the Na­tion­al Wild­life Fed­er­a­tion, held a press con­fer­ence mid-morn­ing Thursday to rally sup­port for strict reg­u­la­tions to lim­it car­bon emis­sions. The press con­fer­ence was fol­lowed by a march led by par­ti­cipants to EPA headquar­ters, where the listen­ing ses­sion was held throughout the day.

“The time to act on cli­mate is now,” Pete Alt­man, cli­mate and clean air cam­paign dir­ect­or at the Nat­ur­al Re­sources De­fense Coun­cil said dur­ing the press con­fer­ence. “EPA needs to set strong stand­ards that curb the huge amounts of dan­ger­ous and un­lim­ited car­bon pol­lu­tion com­ing from the na­tion’s power plants.” 

Pro-coal groups were also out in full force protest­ing EPA’s reg­u­lat­ory reach.

The Amer­ic­an Co­ali­tion for Clean Coal Elec­tri­city sponsored a mo­bile bill­board car­ry­ing the mes­sage “Tell EPA, Coal = Jobs + Af­ford­able Elec­tri­city.”

Ahead of the event, AC­CCE spokes­per­son Laura Shee­han slammed the agency for fail­ing to hold ad­di­tion­al pub­lic-com­ment ses­sions in areas of the coun­try that are heav­ily re­li­ant on coal-powered elec­tri­city.

“These listen­ing ses­sions are just one more ex­ample of an ad­min­is­tra­tion that con­tin­ues to ex­clude from its rule-mak­ing the mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans who stand to lose the most,” Shee­han said in a state­ment. “At today’s D.C. listen­ing ses­sion, AC­CCE hopes to rep­res­ent those who have been ig­nored and de­liv­er the mes­sage that we must pro­tect Amer­ic­an jobs and pre­vent EPA from en­act­ing harm­ful reg­u­la­tions on coal-fueled elec­tri­city in this coun­try.”

The agency is due to re­lease a pro­posed rule to re­duce green­house-gas pol­lu­tion from ex­ist­ing power plants next sum­mer and fi­nal­ize the rule-mak­ing by June 1, 2015.

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