EPA Chief Set to Visit North Dakota

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 20: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy addresses a breakfast event at the National Press Club September 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. McCarthy announced that the EPA is proposing regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which requires future coal burning power plants to decrease 40 percent of their emission. 
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Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Feb. 24, 2014, 12:55 p.m.

En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency Ad­min­is­trat­or Gina Mc­Carthy will vis­it North Dakota at the re­quest of Demo­crat­ic North Dakota Sen­at­or Heidi Heitkamp at the end of the week to dis­cuss the fu­ture of coal and eth­an­ol pro­duc­tion in the state.

Heitkamp and Mc­Carthy are set to make a joint ap­pear­ance in Bis­mar­ck, North Dakota on Fri­day where the EPA chief will field ques­tions from the me­dia and hear from state res­id­ents about the po­ten­tial im­pact of agency policies on the coal and eth­an­ol in­dus­tries.

In Septem­ber, the EPA re­leased a draft pro­pos­al to lim­it car­bon emis­sions from new power plants. The agency is cur­rently writ­ing a pro­pos­al to cut emis­sions from ex­ist­ing plants that is due out this sum­mer.

The EPA also put for­ward in Novem­ber a pro­pos­al to cut the total amount of bio­fuels, in­clud­ing eth­an­ol, that will be blen­ded in­to the U.S. fuel sup­ply un­der this year’s re­new­able-fuel stand­ard, a fed­er­al man­date that sets tar­gets for the amount of re­new­able fuels to be ad­ded to gas­ol­ine each year.

Heitkamp has voiced cri­ti­cism of both sets of policy pro­pos­als, say­ing that she be­lieves they will have a neg­at­ive im­pact on do­mest­ic coal and eth­an­ol pro­duc­tion.

“I’m grate­ful that she [EPA Ad­min­is­trat­or Mc­Carthy] agreed to vis­it North Dakota, and this trip will be an op­por­tun­ity for North Dakotans to have their voices heard,” Heitkamp said in a state­ment. “I’m look­ing for­ward to hav­ing mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions about the need to find a real path for­ward for coal, and how eth­an­ol provides good jobs and has en­vir­on­ment­al be­ne­fits that shouldn’t be over­looked.”

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