U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wrote an Oct. 10 letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to request that EPA hold a “listening session” in Pikeville, Ky, to discuss the impact its regulations will have on coal miners, their families and local businesses.
Pikeville is in the heart of the eastern Kentucky coalfields, which are part of the Central Appalachia coal producing region.
The EPA has announced it is postponing initial field hearings across the country due to the government shutdown. The EPA hearings are to be held in San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Lenexa, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. A hearing will not be held in any of the three largest coal producing states: Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky, the senator pointed out.
This is an EPA “listening” tour aimed at taking input on carbon emissions limits for power plants. The 11-state tour is designed to solicit “ideas and input from the public and stakeholders” about carbon emissions standards for existing power plants, which the EPA plans to propose in draft form in 2014.
In the letter, McConnell wrote: “I request the EPA host an additional listening session in Pikeville, Kentucky, which is located in the heart of coal country. Pikeville is certainly much more representative of those who work in the coal industry than San Francisco… A Pikeville meeting would bring much needed balance to the listening sessions.”