Today, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) cosponsored a house resolution requesting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hold its public listening sessions on a forthcoming carbon dioxide rule in leading coal states. The proposed rule will significantly impact existing power plant emissions. The resolution requests the sessions to be held in each of the ten states with the highest percentage of electricity generated by coal in 2012. Those states include Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming. Currently, the EPA has omitted major coal generating states from its public schedule.
"If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to hear from real stakeholders about its latest climate change initiative, the agency ought to include a public hearing stop in Central Appalachia. There's no region with more at stake in Obama's new climate agenda than our coalfields and the region's existing fleet of coal plants - a region where more than 6,200 eastern Kentucky coal miners have already lost their jobs in less than two years and where coal plants are struggling to make costly environmental upgrades," said Rogers. "Our people would love to 'play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines' without having to attend a hearing thousands of miles away."
President Obama announced that the EPA would propose regulations on greenhouse gas emissions for existing coal-fired power plants next summer, in June 2014. This follows on the heels of the Administration's new and controversial carbon sequestration requirements for new coal-fired power plants, announced on September 20, 2013.
On September 30, 2013, the EPA announced its public listening sessions scheduled in preparation for those regulations would be held in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Lenexa, San Franscisco, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Seattle, and Chicago. Nearly 40-percent of all electricity generated in the United States comes from coal. However, not a single session was scheduled in one of the top ten states with the highest percentage of electricity generated from coal.