CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Coal Association is speaking out about the dangers of the EPA’s proposed Source Performance Standard Greenhouse Gas rule. Bill Raney, the president of the group, invited state lawmakers, heads of agencies and others involved in the coal industry to a meeting Friday, the last day to submit comments to the EPA on the rule.
Raney said it’s important the people understand the potential hazards if the proposed rule becomes actual regulation.
“No state has more at stake in this than West Virginia,” according to Raney.
The rule calls for strict standards when it comes to building new coal-fired plants in the U.S.
“The (EPA) has set technological standards for new power plants in these rules that are absolutely impossible to achieve,” explained Raney.
Raney said not only is the technology required by the EPA to build a new coal-fired plant currently not available, it would be cost prohibitive if it were.
Raney said take a drive in coal country these days and folks will see how devastating current EPA regulations have been to community after community. Right now, he said, it’s the miners and spin-off businesses that are hurting. He stressed if the proposed rules become regulation, everyone in West Virginia will feel the pinch.
He used a winter event back in January to make his point.
“During the polar vortex….(the electric companies) came very, very close to a grid failure. There’s three plants we have here in West Virginia that (the EPA) is going to close next year that were operating during that vortex at 89 percent capacity,” said Raney. “They’re not going to be here in 2015. So I don’t know what (the EPA) is going to do. They have not addressed that. The EPA says they don’t have to be concerned with that.”
Raney said it’s possible during extreme weather, winter and summer, that West Virginians could be left without power, similar to the derecho, if the EPA gets its way.