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 A Bloomberg Government Study has found:

• New coal plants would effectively be banned because their emission rate is almost double that of the proposed standard.
• The new policy probably wouldn't shift current investment patterns in the power sector. Natural-gas plants already have a compelling price advantage.
• Although the rule makes room to build coal plants that incorporate carbon capture and storage technology, coal plants with CCS probably won't be built unless Congress enacts new programs to subsidize them.

We the undersigned wish to express our support for those in elected office who would consider the economic impact that the new EPA rules would have on West Virginia. We further support the efforts of the WV Coal Forum in their attempts to educate West Virginians and our elected leaders  about the effect of the new rules on our local economies and further, the Coal Forum's effort to always advocate for West Virginia coal

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The West Virginia Coal Forum – an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry – will host three forums across West Virginia featuring Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, Congressman Nick Joe Rahall, Congressman David McKinley, UMWA President Cecil Roberts and others to discuss EPA’s War on Coal and, specifically, the agency’s greenhouse gas and Utility MACT proposed rules.

These rules will significantly affect West Virginia jobs, and in fact, have already resulted in the announced premature closure of several state power plants.  The purpose of the Coal Forum events are to increase awareness of the harmful impacts these rules will have on the economy of Appalachia and to discuss strategies for reversing them.

Stakeholders in West Virginia’s mining economy – industry leaders, mining personnel, association representatives, local legislators and policy leaders – are encouraged to attend.

Confirm your attendance at one or all of the events by emailing your name, title, organization and the event you plan to attend to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EVENT DATES:

May 22, 2012
Charleston, WV        
Embassy Suites Hotel        
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Featuring Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and UMWA President Cecil Roberts

May 23, 2012        
Wheeling, WV        
Oglebay Resort         
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Featuring Congressman David McKinley

May 24, 2012        
Beckley, WV        
Country Inn & Suites / Mountaineer Conference Center        
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Featuring Congressman Nick Joe Rahall

(Senator Manchin will have representatives at each meeting.)

West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said the rules are having a negative impact on power plants and pocket books of people in West Virginia.

By Courtney Clark

CHARLESTON --  The Environmental Protection Agency's air quality rules and how they impact the coal industry are the focus of this year's West Virginia Coal Forum.

The event kicked off Wednesday morning at the Marriott in Charleston.

It featured United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, representatives of West Virginia's Congressional Delegation, members of the state Legislature and representatives of the coal industry.

West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said the EPA's "unrealistic rules, politics and time tables" are having a negative impact on power plants and pocket books of people in West Virginia.

"These negative impacts, they'd be bad on their own, bad at any time, but they really seem ridiculous today when the country's economy is absolutely in shambles," said Raney.

According to Raney, the rules not only affect West Virginia, but the entire country.

They also touched on other coal-related issues, such as the level of competitiveness and productivity of the industry, miner's health and safety issues, and the overall image of the coal industry.

Staff
Charleston

It's not just the West Virginia coal industry that's feeling the heat from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The president of the Ohio Coal Association says it's a problem nationwide.

"The EPA's flood of new regulations, which we're calling and everybody is calling "the train wreck," must be stopped,” said Mike Carey.

He was a guest speaker Wednesday at the West Virginia Coal Forum in Charleston. He says the Obama administration and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson are determined to bury the industry.

"Don't let it be a surprise when you can't get a permit to mine your coal and you can't get a permit to build a coal-fired power plant,” Carey said. “And oh, by the way, the power plants that you do have, we'll we're going to try to shut them down."

Carey says while Ohio has far fewer coal mines than West Virginia, his state would be devastated if proposed EPA regulations to shut down coal-fired plants were enacted.

"If the proposal were finalized, my state alone, the state of Ohio, which has the manufacturing base, which has the service, which has the agriculture, my state alone loses 53-thousand jobs,” he said.

And it's not just about job losses. Carey says you have to consider the cost of energy. Right now, Ohio and West Virginia both have some of the cheapest utility rates in the country. He told those attending the forum, if the U.S. is forced to move away from coal-fired power plants, expect bills to sky rocket.

"Homeowners in the state of Ohio would pay 23 percent more for their electric rates,” Carey said. But that's not just in Ohio. In Pennsylvania it would go up 17 percent."

Carey believes it's time for the entire nation to stand up and demand the White House and the EPA think long-term about the demands they're making.

"I think the top priority that we have, not just as an Ohio Coal Association or a West Virginia Coal Association or whatever campaign you're part of, the first priority is to stop the EPA Clean Air Act Regulations."

Carey says that doesn't mean destroying the environment. It means burning coal in an environmental friendly way.

Reported by: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia 

The EPA has announced tougher standards for coal fired plants that produce 46 percent of U.S. electricity and emissions that can impact public health and possibly climate. The coal industry says the changes are coming too fast and will effectively end the building of coal-fired power plants. 

The potential state impact of the new rules was the topic of this year's West Virginia Coal Forum in Charleston. The coal industry has its own word war of words going with the EPA over mine permitting, but their latest concern is that the tougher power plant emission rules will kill the domestic steam coal market. 

Union miners are worried too. UMW President Cecil Roberts said: " Let's talk about using a little bit of common sense here, folks! And we're not talking about just ignoring the environment. We (the UMW) certainly wouldn't be for that. We're talking about let's use a little common sense approach to this to keep people working and deal with the environment. " 

Speakers also said the changes will dramatically raise the cost of electricity for homes and businesses. The EPA did not get a turn at the podium.

See Video here: http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/eyewitness/110810_6164.shtml

The forum took place at the Charleston Marriott at 9 a.m.

By Andrea Lannom
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Other Stories by Andrea Lannom 

Several speakers during Wednesday’s annual coal forum in Charleston urged the passage of a bill, which would put controls on the Environmental Protection Agency.

This comes on the heels of the EPA’s new air quality rules, which would limit the coal mining industry.

One of the main concerns speakers had is the potential shut downs along with the loss of jobs associated with the closures, that these limitations would cause.

“Coal is critical to keep our manufacturing sector competitive and to keep access to affordable power,” Jeff Herholdt from the West Virginia Division of Energy, said during Wednesday’s forum.

Herholdt explained that if these air regulations took affect, 8 percent of coal demand would be lost.

“We are seeing new investments in West Virginia that will continue the demand for coal,” he said, noting a new power plant coming online in Monongalia County, which he says will be “one of the cleanest plants in the country.

“This is a model for future coal development,” he said.

Two other speakers, Cecil Roberts, from the UMWA and Bill Raney from the West Virginia Coal Association, said the loss of jobs could be devastating.

“This is not just an issue of some coal miners in West Virginia,” Roberts said. “This is a broad issue of people making a living off of coal across the country.”

“This is ridiculous when the economy is in shambles,” Raney said.

Roberts noted the struggle of many Americans who are either unemployed or “underemployed.”

“I tell them that they can get a good job in the American coal industry,” he said. “Everywhere I go in northern West Virginia, I see someone who looks like my grandson mining coal.”

The amount of time to retrofit existing plants could also be a concern, says international energy air expert Gene Trisko.

According to Trisco, there would only be 36 months to install hundreds of retrofitted controlled devices in existing plants.

Trisco then mentioned a question he posed to the EPA about these regulations.

“The first question was, ‘could you please identify units in the database that meet these emission standards?’ It was a short answer. Zero,” he said.

“This rule is twice as expensive as any air pollution rule ever proposed by the EPA,” he said, noting an $11 billion a year price tag. “When we go into regulatory impact analysis, where are the benefits coming from?”

See Video here: http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=105075#