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News Clash

Pennsylvania Democrats Butting Heads With Obama Over Ridiculous Regulations On Coal

Even Democratic state legislators have been expressing their frustration with the Obama  administration’s environmental agenda,  especially as it relates to coal.

“I understand the economics behind the decision to close the plants,” said  Democratic state Rep. Pam Snyder. “What I question are the regulatory policies  that fail to atone for the damaging effects it has on the economic survival of  regions that have given their life bloods to power the  nation.”

“The federal government is costing real people real jobs by pushing ahead  with theoretical power-plant standards,” said Democratic state Sen. Tim Solobay.  “Forcing the closure of reliable power plants will drive up the price of  electricity for consumers and do little to improve the environment.”

Earlier this month, FirstEnergy announced that it was shuttering two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, citing  federal environmental regulations and poor economic conditions. The company said  that complying with the Environmental  Protection Agency’s  Mercury Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, would have cost $275 million for the two  plants.

Since President Obama took office in 2009, 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired  power has been taken offline.

“I will never accept the reasoning that a low-cost, abundant resource like  coal does not have a cornerstone in our energy foundation,” said Snyder. “The  coal and power industry has made  great strides addressing environmental concerns, and ‘clean coal’ technologies  have never been given more than lip service.”

“For years, public officials in this region have asked federal regulators to  consider the economic impact of their overreaching new regulations,” Solobay  added. “The benefit to the air  quality in the northeast United States is questionable, but the effect on  families in Southwestern Pennsylvania is real. It is not a balanced  approach.”

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