Charleston, WV – There was more testimony Wednesday before the federal Environmental Protection Agency at the West Virginia Capitol. At issue, proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, that critics said would further hurt the region’s coal industry.
“What it was going to do is cause absolute havoc, more havoc on top of the pain and suffering we’re already experiencing here in West Virginia due to the 12,000 fewer jobs and the the 50 percent decrease in coal production here,” said Chris Hamilton, of the West Virginia Coal Association.
But environmentalists disagree. The Sierra Club delivered testimony to the EPA that was taken at a separate event at the University of Charleston, known as ‘the people’s hearing.’
“I live within 40 miles of three power plants. And all three of my grandchildren suffer from COPD or asthma related issues,” said Terry Blanton, of the Sierra Club.
The hearings also attracted a group of moms from around the country. They want clean air quality.
“My concern are the children being impacted from climate change and carbon pollution that is being emitted from the coal fired power plants,” said Tricia Sheehan, of Moms Clean Air Force.
But repeal of the Clean Power plan was a promise made by then-candidate, now President Donald Trump. Supporters said his stance made a difference.
“Coal is on the upswing, natural gas – the fossil fuel industry – is once again looked to to provide the low-cost energy resources throughout the state and throughout America,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Senate President.
Recommendations from the EPA hearing could take several months.
The Charleston Clean Power Plan hearings were the only ones held in the entire United States. And now some environmentalists are asking the EPA to hold a series of these hearings in other regions of the country.