Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over'

EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over'

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt holds up a miner's helmet that he was given after speaking with coal miners at the Harvey Mine on April 13, 2017, in Sycamore, Pennsylvania.

Pruitt was selected to lead the EPA by President Trump earlier this year, and has since garnered pushback from liberals and conservatives alike.

"The past administration said we had to choose between the environment and job growth", Pruitt said.

As with almost every environmental rule promulgated by the Obama administration, the ELG rule has been challenged in court by a coalition of utilities led by the Southwestern Electric Power Co.

These regulations include the controversial Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), which has been deeply unpopular among the construction industry and is already undergoing a review under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

He responded to those who think the EPA is now "compromising outcomes" with respect to the environment as it relaxes regulations on coal-fired power plants.

Nathaniel Keohane, the Environmental Defense Fund's vice president on global climate, told InsideClimate News that "p$3 ulling out of the Paris climate accord would damage the USA more than it damages the Paris agreement or climate action globally".

A recurring theme during the meeting was the Obama administration's environmental regulations to combat climate change that the coal industry claimed stifled production and job growth. "We're ready for a new chapter in mining", Brock said.

Several of the nation's largest coal companies were forced to seek bankruptcy protection in the a year ago as electric utilities switch to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas made more plentiful through a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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He took over previous year from Rousseff after she was impeached for illegal handling of government finances. Another prominent name is Eduardo Paes, who was mayor of Rio de Janeiro during last year's Olympics.

Pruitt applauds Trump's signing of the American energy independence executive order, eliminating numerous Obama-era climate change regulations that made it hard for businesses to operate in the U.S.

Despite the ongoing shift to natural gas, Consol Energy still owns some major coal assets. He added that coal miners should never apologize for the work they do.

"They didn't listen to their concerns", she said of the previous administration.

Administrator Pruitt's decision to highlight this polluting facility is deeply troubling for clean water and public health.

One enforcement activity that could be set for an increase: security for Scott Pruitt, the new E.P.A. administrator.

"The coal mine produces a lot of money and a lot of jobs for this area - for a lot of families", he said.

Mines "provide a great deal of support for the local economy", he said.

It is meant to bring the EPA more in line with what the administration says is the agency's original goal: returning authority to states and focusing on regulating air and water pollutants that are not greenhouse gases, as well as repealing major Obama-era regulations.

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