GOP: EPA Scared to Talk Regs in Coal Country

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell speaks about Bob Dole and Howard Baker. 
National Journal
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Alex Brown
Oct. 11, 2013, 9:59 a.m.

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.”