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Proposed EPA Coal Rule Upsets Wyoming Governor, Congressional Delegation

Wyoming’s elected officials are reeling following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on Friday of strict limits on carbon emissions for new coal-fired power plants.

“Coal provides about 40% of America’s electricity and it is abundant and affordable,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead in a release. “The industry is striving to reduce emissions… We can do more, but the heavy burden of this proposed rule on new plants and the EPA’s planned further regulation of existing sources will have far-reaching consequences.”

The EPA says the proposal is in line with President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

“Climate change is one of the most significant public health challenges of our time,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “By taking commonsense action to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, we can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children.”

Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis has already joined other members of the House in introducing the Ensure Reliable and Affordable Energy Act, meant to counter the EPA’s proposal.

“President Obama can offer no proof of weather or climate impacts from his rule, he not make a dent in global carbon output, and he will not reduce the use of coal around the world,” Lummis said.

Wyoming’s Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, said the proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants essentially bans construction of new coal-fired power plants by requiring them to use technology they say has not been perfected yet. Both Senators plan to join Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) in filing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to try and stop the EPA from imposing the regulations.