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EPA Dodges Coal Country in Meetings to Discuss Coal Regulations

The EPA is hosting “public discussion” meetings around the country to get the public’s input on the EPA’s recently released regulations targeting carbon dioxide emissions at power plants. However, for the most part the EPA isn’t seeking the input of those who live in communities that use lots of coal or where significant numbers of coal jobs exist. Instead, they’re mostly hitting big major cities on the east and west coasts:

214295_5_Credit RealClearEnergy

The Denver meeting, one city on the map that uses significant amounts of coal, allowed some citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the EPA:

DENVER — Environmental Protection Agency officials received an earful at Wednesday’s listening-tour stop in Denver as most speakers urged the agency to stop what they described as the Obama administration’s war on the coal industry.

“The proposed regulation being considered by the EPA will, without a doubt, be a death penalty to the coal industry,” said Greg Kohn of Count on Coal Montana. “Make no mistake, not only will it destroy the coal industry, it will severely impact other industries, communities, and most importantly, it will severely impact thousands of working-class families.”

The all-day hearing was part of the EPA’s 11-stop listening tour prior to developing proposed carbon-emissions regulations on existing power plants as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The agency plans to issue its proposal by June 2014.

Critics point out that most of the cities on the listening tour — including Boston, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco — are far from coal-mining operations and therefore don’t have a direct stake in the anticipated loss of jobs from additional regulations.

It’s not hard to see that this is more of a face-saving public relations exercise for the EPA rather than an opportunity to hear from concerns of those whose livelihood rely on coal mining.

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