EPA head tells coal miners 'regulatory assault is over'

Mandy Carr
April 14, 2017

By documenting feedback from individuals that have been affected by EPA regulations, Pruitt said the agency could partner with state and local governments to "ensure that we can provide clean air, land and water to Americans".

"If the Trump administration is really concerned about the economic health and the environmental health of this country - if they really are - they're not going about it the right way", she said.

"The new administration is at last willing to look at us, rather than not", he said. Consol, which now focuses primarily on natural gas production, has voiced its intent to sell off its remaining coal assets.

"The days in which we had to choose between those two are over", he said. Better to spend money retraining coal industry workers for the future and assisting them now. Amy Graham, the EPA's deputy associate administrator for public engagement, said the visit was to describe to the miners the next steps for the agency.

UWAG argues the regulation will "cause negative impacts on jobs due to the excessive costs of compliance - which were grossly underestimated by EPA - and regulatory burdens forcing plant closures".

"States know what's best for their environmental and their economy", Graham said.

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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. Agents routinely picked Gina McCarthy from the airport, for example, or accompanied her on site visits during her time as EPA administrator from July 2013 to Jan 2017.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted a public comment addressed to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt thanking him for establishing a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding those that can be repealed, replaced and modified to make them less burdensome.

Cox said his own retirement had been long planned even before Trump's election, and that he's not aware of any big exodus of EPA staff from the Seattle office.

"I have decided that it is appropriate and in the public interest to reconsider the rule", Pruitt wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to counsel for a utility group and officials at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

"The coal industry was almost devastated by years of regulatory overreach, but with new direction from President Trump, we are helping to turn things around for these miners and for many other hard working Americans", Pruitt said. Consol Energy also made a splash earlier this decade when it chose to transform itself into primarily a natural gas production company after a storied history as a major coal producer.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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