September 27, 2020 | News | No Comments
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday is holding its only public hearing on the Trump administration’s push to axe the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, West Virginia, smack dab in the middle of coal country—a location that green groups said gives the event “all the markings of a sham” designed to silence agency critics and elevate proponents of dirty energy.
“I know it’s no accident that they’re holding the hearing in a place where the coal industry still wields significant political power.”
—Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club
“I know it’s no accident that they’re holding the hearing in a place where the coal industry still wields significant political power,” Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, wrote in an op-ed on Monday.
Nonetheless, environmentalists were determined to make their voices heard amid the crowd of fully-dressed coal miners in attendance at the start of the meeting on Tuesday.
“The EPA is having this hearing here because they think everyone in West Virginia opposes the Clean Power Plan,” Bill Price, an organizer for the Sierra Club in West Virginia, told The New Republic. “We’re going to show them differently.”
Repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP)—a program designed to slash emissions from coal-fired power plans—has long been on EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s extensive pro-fossil fuel to-do list. In October, the EPA publicly unveiled its official proposal to roll back the CPP, a move green groups vowed to fight in court and in the streets.
On Tuesday, environmentalists took their fight straight to the EPA, arguing that contrary to Big Oil talking points, the CPP is vital for safeguarding public health and spurring job growth and innovation.
“We can have both” good jobs and a clean environment, David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council argued in his testimony. “We can—and we must—protect Americans’ health and preserve the stability of our climate.”
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