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Sen. Manchin: EPA fully engaged in a war on coal

Mar. 27, 2012 @ 10:59 PM

Officials representing West Viginia reacted negatively on Tuesday to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules that will put limits on new coal-fired power plants.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the announcement showed "this EPA is fully engaging in a war on coal, even though this country will continue to rely on coal as an affordable, stable and abundant energy source for decades to come."

He said the approach relies on cheap natural gas, noting that as prices go up, the cost of energy will go up.

"This is what happens when this country doesn't have a true all-of-the-above energy approach. Instead of trying to completely eliminate coal in the long-term, the EPA should be trying to work with industry," Manchin said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the regulation will severely hurt West Virginia by reducing jobs and unnecessarily increasing the cost of power for its citizens.

"This latest announcement is yet another example of the EPA's inappropriate use of its regulatory authority to set policy for our country," Tomblin said. "... We should be working to make our country more energy independent and create jobs, not harm them."

The proposed rule will not apply to existing power plants or new ones built in the next year. It will also give future coal-fired power plants years to meet the standard, because it will eventually require that carbon pollution be captured and stored underground, or injected to extract more oil and natural gas. Such carbon capture technology is not yet commercially available.

By contrast, a new natural gas-fired power plant would meet the new standard without installing additional controls.

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