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EPA killing Ohio coal industry, congressman claims

TNS Regional News • Jun 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) of Ohio’s Sixth District, which includes portions of Scioto County, says the president and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are killing the coal industry in Ohio.Johnson released a statement after the EPA announced what Johnson is calling “a devastating new regulation that threatens American jobs, our energy security, and electricity rates around the country”

“Despite the Senate refusing to pass cap-and-trade a few years ago, President Obama is back at it again, circumventing Congress and using the EPA as a bureaucratic arm to enforce his job destroying agenda. Today, the EPA announced a de facto cap-and-trade plan that would have detrimental effects on the coal industry across Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and the United States. Coal remains the country’s largest source of electricity, and the district I represent has six coal-fired power plants,” Johnson said. “President Obama often says one thing, yet does another. This time, however, he kept his promise from 2008 when he said ‘under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.’ Americans deserve better than this. In an economy mired by sluggish economic growth, the last thing hard-working taxpayers should be doing is paying higher electricity costs. I don’t know anyone who is against clean air, but the EPA has doled out one red-tape regulation after another, and enough is enough.”

Johnson said the U.S. Chamber estimates that the rule will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, and have an adverse effect on the economy.

“That’s why I, along with 177 members of Congress, sent a bipartisan letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to protect electricity providers and consumers from this onerous EPA rule,” Johnson said. “Our letter simply asks McCarthy to extend the comment period on this rule in order for power plants to adequately asses how this rule will impact the industry. Back in February, the House passed the Electricity Security and Affordability Act. This common-sense bill provides realistic guidelines for EPA rules and prevents the administration from going around Congress to enact cap-and-trade policies. I will remain committed to protecting the hard-working American people from unrealistic rules that threaten American electricity producers and consumers.”

The White House stood behind the move on Monday with a statement received by the Daily Times.

“Power plants currently churn out about 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the air we breathe, and contribute to hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of heart attacks. And even though we limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic that power plants can put in our air and water, there are no national limits on the carbon pollution they can release. As President Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday, ‘It’s not smart, it’s not safe, and it doesn’t make sense.’ That’s why today, at the President’s direction, the EPA is taking steps to change that with a proposal that will set the first-ever national carbon pollution limits for our country’s existing power plants.”


By Frank Lewis - The Portsmouth Daily Times, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio)

Visit The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com

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