Today, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox asked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to add Montana to the agency’s listening sessions on coal regulations.
Yesterday, the EPA began its series of listening sessions scheduled to take place in large urban centers: New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
“Montanans care about proposed federal regulations impacting their livelihood, their public schools, their utility rates, their communities, and their environment, and they deserve to be heard on this,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “It’s mind boggling that the EPA isn’t holding a single session in a state that relies directly on coal for affordable energy, family-wage jobs, and economic development. It’s as if the regulators don’t want to hear from the hardworking folks who will suffer most under the onerous regulations they’re considering. The EPA needs to come here to Montana – to a place like Colstrip or Billings – and listen to what our citizens have to say.”
The listening sessions are designed to gather public input on the agency’s implementation of Rule 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions from power plants. The proposed regulations are targeted at the very coal-fired power generation that provides Montanans with reliable, affordable electricity. Since Montana has more recoverable coal reserves than any other state, the regulations could be all the more devastating.
“The EPA shouldn’t be afraid of listening to viewpoints they won’t hear in New York City,” Fox said.
In his letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy, Attorney General Fox echoed President Obama and members of his administration in calling for an “all of the above” approach to energy policy. “EPA’s recently announced proposals run contrary to a balanced energy approach,” Fox told McCarthy.