Chris Hamilton, President and CEO of the West Virginia Coal Association offered the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement today of a final rule affecting carbon emissions from coal-fired electricity facilities:

“Make no mistake, the rules announced by EPA today are specifically designed to shut down West Virginia’s nine (9) coal-fired power plants and many more across this nation. This is a continuation and escalation of the national Democratic Party’s decades-long War on Coal and threatens the livelihood of tens of thousands of miners and power plant workers across West Virginia.

Despite numerous recent announcements from regional grid operators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, National Electric Reliability Commission and energy experts forecasting that the amount of planned electric generation retirements exceed the amount of potential new generation able to be brought online, the EPA recklessly continues to march America off a cliff. 

What EPA is doing is economic suicide. West Virginians will lose jobs. Americans will continue to pay increasingly more expensive power bills. Our state and national electric systems will become even more unreliable as the grid weakens and base load power supplies are severely reduced. And just as West Virginia will likely import its future energy, America’s energy security will become more dependent on foreign countries and potentially foreign adversaries. 

A diverse energy mix that is supported by coal-powered plants, not in place of them, is crucial to ensuring all Americans can afford to keep their homes heated and lit. Until we recognize the need for an energy policy reset, we can expect our energy situation to remain unstable and potentially poised to fail us when we need it most.”

For additional information, contact Chris Hamilton at (304) 342-4153.