Coal industry takes second swing in a month at Obama’s EPA

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
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The coal industry continued to push back against the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Mercury Rule regulations — which threaten to force coal plants across the country to shut down — with a second online video released in one month.

The move comes as Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe has promised to introduce a resolution to block the implementation of the EPA’s Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Rule. Inhofe promised to bring Senate Joint Resolution 37 to the Senate floor this coming Wednesday.

If the EPA’s proposed rules were implemented, plants would be unable to afford the upgrades necessary to continue operation. According to Huntington, West Virginia’s Huntington News, between 57 and 140 coal-fired power plants could be closed.

The video, released by America’s Power — a coal industry-funded advocacy group — focuses on Nucla Station in Nucla, Colo., where proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency threaten to close the plant. The regulations cover mercury emissions and other pollutant standards.

Colorado energy was in the news last month when presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney visited Craig, Colo., to attack the Obama administration’s energy policies. The speech was panned by critics, who charged that the town’s economy was on the upswing. (RELATED: Renewable energy mandates take a slice of the ‘pie’ in small town Colorado)

“When the EPA began developing their rule on mercury emission, they created a database for emissions performance for power plants across the country,” Lee Boughey, a senior public affairs manager for Tri-State Generation and Transmission, said in the video. “At the top of that list is Nucla Station here in western Colorado. This power plant could be closed down because it could be too expensive to address all the non-mercury components of the mercury rule. That’s something that could only happen in Washington.”

In 2008, the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program awarded the plant the Bronze Achiever status; in 2009 the Nucla station won the Silver Achiever status. The statewide environmental reward program is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Sustainability Program. (RELATED: Top EPA official: Obama coal rules ‘painful every step of the way’)

“It’s not just raising the costs of individuals in their homes — it’s about what it does to manufacturers, what it does to the agriculture industry,” Boughey continued. “In the end, we run the risk of being uncompetitive. Businesses could move out of this town, they could move out of this state, they could move out of this country.”


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