A Pennsylvania local union officer argued last week that hundreds of families will lose their jobs due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) anti-coal agenda, according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazzette.
Raymond C. Ventrone, business manager of the Boilermakers Local 154 union, explained that the coal industry has already invested millions of dollars in clean air technology. Even though coal usage tripled in the last 30 years, sulfur dioxide levels fell by 56 percent thanks to this new technology.
However, according to Ventrone, the EPA disregarded these innovations by the coal industry. Ventrone wrote:
Now, those breakthrough technological upgrades — approved by the Environmental Protection Agency only three years ago — have been deemed insufficient by the very same agency by virtue of new regulations created without a vote in Congress or input from the public. These new regulations are forcing the shutdown of the Hatfield’s Ferry power plant in Masontown and the Mitchell power plant in New Eagle, putting hundreds of utility workers and boilermakers out of work. [...]
The skeptics in this debate are those who ignore that coal is used cleanly. The deniers are those who won’t acknowledge the true “social cost” of the EPA’s anti-coal agenda: the 400 southwestern Pennsylvania families who are losing their paychecks. We can have clean air and keep coal as a vital part of our economy, but we can’t do it if the EPA and its allies are allowed to continue waging a devastating war against our jobs. Thank you to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy for standing up for local working-class families.