WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Tuesday released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan.
“Our President and his Administration think our country can do without coal, and they are dead wrong. They are in denial. They deny the cold-hard fact that coal continues to generate almost 40 percent of the electricity in America, and it will play an essential role in our energy portfolio for the next thirty years. The EPA has flat out ignored the Department of Energy’s data that says coal will still produce more than 30 percent of our electricity through 2040. It is completely contradictory that the EPA continues to impose unreasonable and unattainable rules in an attempt to regulate coal into extinction. The people who suffer are our hard-working West Virginians and consumers across the country.
This Administration’s demonization of coal has already devastated the coal mining industry in West Virginia and in energy-producing states across the country. Because of unattainable and unreasonable regulations, thousands of coal miners have been laid off in West Virginia alone, and more than 26 coal companies have filed for bankruptcy.
The bottom line is this Administration has been utterly unrealistic when it comes to the role of coal in our energy future. Never before has the federal government forced an industry to do something that is technologically infeasible. By requiring the adoption of costly carbon capture and storage technologies that have not yet been proven commercially viable, the EPA is essentially setting a standard that is impossible to meet. Instead of working with energy-producing states like West Virginia to develop cleaner technology and partnering with the private sector to grow our energy economy, this Administration is picking winners and losers when it comes to our nation’s energy policy.
I will continue to explore all available options to prevent these unattainable regulations from further crippling our energy production, jeopardizing our energy grid, and putting our workers out of good-paying jobs.”