Coal industry rejoices after CPP repeal - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Coal industry rejoices after CPP repeal

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WSIL -- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a proposed rule to repeal the so-called "Clean Power Plan," put in place by President Obama. The plan would have required states to lower their carbon emissions, but the EPA says the plan exceeds the agency's authority.

Illinois Coal Association President, Phil Gonet, says under the rule hundreds of thousands of workers may have lost thier job. 

"By repealing the Clean Power Plan, this will prevent the closure of more power plants and I actually think coal production will increase slightly over the next few years," said Gonet. 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says that's exaclty what repealing the plan will accomplish.

"The EPA is no longer in the business of picking winners and losers by trying to come in and use regulations to declare war on a sector of our economy," said Pruitt. 

Gonet says the plan aimed to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions but he says implementing the rule would've killed the coal industry and only reduced global emissions by 0.18%.  

"The Earth isn't going to be any worse off because the impact on the reduction of CO2 was so negligible," said Gonet. 

He says those in the industry are satisfied with the repeal. Now with the biggest obstacle out of the way, Gonet says they can stop focusing on fighting regulators in Washington D.C. and coal companies can start working on being more efficient. 

"There's at least seven or eight actions President Trump has already taken since he assumed office to help the coal industry and we are very appreciative," said Gonet. 

Congressman Mike Bost released a statement praising the EPA's decision. He said, "The Obama Administration's addiction to over-regulation threatened to wipe out hundreds of jobs in Southern Illinois... I applaud the administration's decision to secure the reliability and resiliency of America's electrical grid." 

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