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EPA Proposes New Power Plant Emissions Rules

Reported: Jun. 2, 2014 7:31 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 2, 2014 7:37 PM EDT
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Charleston, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - The president blames carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants for helping bring out global warming and climate change.

So, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new rules which would drastically cut down on carbon dioxide pouring out of power plant smokestacks.

"This is about protecting our health and it is about protecting our homes," Gina McCarthy, director of the Environmental Protection Agency said. "This is about protecting local economies and it's about protecting jobs."

The EPA wants a 30% cut in carbon emissions by the year 2030.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, joined by federal and state representatives along with business and labor interests, says the rule would devastate West Virginia's coal industry and jack up your power bill.

"We must have reasonable electric rates to continue as a world economic power," Tomblin said. "And these regulations put that status at great peril."

"During the period from 2009 to 2011 we saw our rates go up more than 50 percent," Charles Patton, president of Appalachian Power said.

McCarthy says opponents to the proposal are trotting out the same arguments which were used to fight against smog reduction in the 60s and acid rain removal in the 90s. She says if you are against the president's plan, you're just wrong.

"No offense to horses but I call that horse manure," U.S. Representative Nick Rahall said. "This does have real life effects on real life Americans. West Virginians, coal miners, the heart of this country."

"Come to West Virginia." U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito said. "Come to Danville, West Virginia where I was and talk about how they're wrong. And I think it is picking winners and losers and West Virginia is really gonna lose here."

Although his union supported Obama's presidential big 2008, with him saying then-Senator Obama would work to ensure the future of American coal jobs, United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts is vowing to fight the
EPA's new proposal..

"Coal is the fastest growing fuel source for electricity in the world," Roberts said. "I heard a pastor on Easter Sunday morning say this, he said if you're a leader and nobody is following you you're just going for a walk. The United States is going for a walk on this one because nobody's gonna follow us. Thank you."

It will be at least two years before the EPA's proposed rule would be finalized.



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