Jessica Lilly Published

Coal Industry, Miners Concerned Over Proposed EPA Rules


The coal industry is worried that the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly proposed regulations on carbon emissions will cripple the nation’s coal economy.

With 95 percent of the energy produced in West Virginia coming from coal fired power plants, many within the industry feel the state will be the hardest hit by the new proposal.

Roger Horton, a retired miner from Logan County paints a grim picture already evolving in coal country. Since March of 2012 thousands of miners have lost their jobs.  Horton said the EPA new proposed rules ignore the economic impact of its standards on countless coal mining families.

“The uncertainty now that is created by these new [regulations] is going to make even more people apprehensive about being able to keep their homes and I’m sure there’s going to be more who lose their jobs and have to relocate,” Horton said. “That’s just absolutely wrong.”

The EPA is the target of bi-partisan wrath. West Virginia’s congressional delegation is a mix of Democrats and Republicans and they have all criticized the Obama Administration over the rule proposed Monday.  The exception was Senator Jay Rockefeller who didn’t criticize the EPA. Instead, Rockefeller called for a bigger push for clean coal technologies.