The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued rules that, if implemented, would effectively put an end to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in this country. Called greenhouse gas new source performance standards, these rules set a low threshold on carbon emissions that even the most modern coal-fired power plant cannot meet.
As a state and country, we need diversity in the mix of fuels that provide electricity to our homes and businesses. Taking coal - or any fuel - out of the generation mix puts us at a disadvantage and more susceptible to price fluctuations.
These regulations could also lead to a further decline in the use of West Virginia-produced coal and with that, an erosion of our job market and economy.
Coal-based power plants being built today are more energy efficient and 70-90 percent cleaner than the plants they replace. These advances and cleaner coal burning technologies will allow America to take advantage of its huge coal reserves while reducing emissions and providing the nation with affordable, reliable electricity.
The West Virginia Business & Industry Council appreciates the efforts by Gov. Tomblin, Congressman McKinley and our congressional representatives to urge EPA to amend these rules to allow all fuel sources in America's power generation mix.
Jan Vineyard, chairwoman
West Virginia Business & Industry Council