Senators Say Carbon Listening Tour Misses Heart Of Coal Country

- U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) along with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and nine other Senators recently sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy criticizing the EPA’s decision to largely bypass coal producing areas on its “listening tour” on proposed carbon cap regulations. In the letter, the Senators call on Administrator McCarthy to actually visit with and listen to the opinions of the people most impacted by EPA’s anti-coal policies.

As your regulations will likely have a significant negative impact on the use and development of coal, and the livelihoods and energy bills for folks across rural America, it only makes sense that you should actually go to the areas that will be most impacted by your policies. Unfortunately, it appears your listening tour will merely rubber stamp whatever pre-conceived policy this Administration was planning on pursuing in the first place. We respectfully request that you consider hearing the opinions of the people most impacted by your policies. Americans most impacted by your policies deserve to be heard, wrote the Senators.

Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and David Vitter (R-LA) joined Senators Barrasso and Enzi in sending this letter.

Full text of the letter below: 

October 31, 2013

 

The Honorable Gina McCarthy

Administrator

Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20460

Dear Administrator McCarthy,

We are contacting you regarding our concerns about the EPA’s announced listening tour on developing new carbon limit regulations for existing coal fired power plants.

The EPA recently began a listening tour which will visit 11 cities across the country to hear the public’s views on placing carbon limits on existing coal fired power plants.  All but one of these cities is a major metropolitan area (New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle). The exception is Lenexa in Kansas, which is actually located in the Kansas City, Kansas metropolitan area.

Most of these areas are not where coal is either utilized or produced in any significant way.  Your listening tour will miss seventeen of the top twenty coal burning states.  In addition, your tour will miss sixteen of the top twenty coal producing states, including the top three (Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky).

As your regulations will likely have a significant negative impact on the use and development of coal, and the livelihoods and energy bills for folks across rural America, it only makes sense that you should actually go to the areas that will be most impacted by your policies. Unfortunately, it appears your listening tour will merely rubber stamp whatever pre-conceived policy this Administration was planning on pursuing in the first place.

We respectfully request that you consider hearing the opinions of the people most impacted by your policies. Americans most impacted by your policies deserve to be heard.