EPA Moving Forward With Coal Industry Deregulations


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with President Donald Trump’s administration, is hoping to rewrite the laws and restrictions on the coal industry.

According to U.S. News, the EPA is moving to change the Obama-era rules that limited water pollution from coal-fired power plants and other major businesses. The Utility Water Act Group is backing the EPA’s decision to reverse these regulations because of the loss of coal jobs and number of plant closures over the last eight years.

“It’s sad that a regulatory body, the federal government of the United States, would declare a war on our energy industry,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We’re going to do it the American way, grow jobs and show the rest of the world how it’s done.”

Trib Live reports that Pruitt announced the deregulations in mid-April to a welcoming crowd of coal miners at Harvey Mine in Greene County. Pruitt is currently on a mine tour giving similar speeches across the country.

Skeptics are worried that a decrease in pollution regulations could lead to even more environmental problems. Businesses contribute to a significant amount of the global pollution: as the grocery industry’s use of plastic waste ends up causing environmental issues along the 95,471 miles of U.S. shoreline. The total amount of all that plastic waste is expected to more than double in the next 10 years.

In addition, the emitting of carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to worry environmental agencies. These agencies have been searching for safer alternatives and have found that motorcoaches are three times more efficient in reducing CO2 emissions when it comes to other forms of travel like commuter rail, and are six times more efficient that transit buses; but deregulations across the industry could lead to more carbon emissions.

Many environmental groups view the coal industry as one of the largest contributors of global pollution and are worried about what the new rules, as well as Scott Pruitt, will end up causing.

“Scott Pruitt continuing his scorched-earth crusade to sweep aside anything that gets in the way of fossil-fuel industry profits,” said Pete Harrison, a lawyer with the environmental advocacy group Waterkeeper Alliance. “This rollback gives a blank check to the power companies, and it directly threatens drinking water supplies across the country.”

Officials working in the coal industry, however, have a much different view than environmental skeptics.

“It’s very early in the administration,” said Rachel Gleason, executive direct of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, “but in the past eight years we’ve seen a systematic attack on the [coal] industry from top to bottom.”

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