Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed letters from the President of the United Mine Workers of America Cecil Roberts and from Democrat West Virginia Governor Earl Tomblin in support of his resolution (SJR37) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Utility MACT rule.
As Cecil Roberts stated in a letter addressed to several Senators, the United Mine Workers' "support for SJR 37 is based upon our assessment of the threat that the EPA MATS rule poses to UMWA members' jobs, the economies of coal field communities, and the future direction of our national energy policy."
Likewise, Governor Tomblin's letter asks Senators John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to support SJR37 because EPA's "attack will have disastrous consequences on West Virginia's economy, our citizens, and our way of life" and that EPA "continues on this ill-conceived path to end the development of our nation's most reliable, cost-effective source of energy-coal."
"I welcome the support for my resolution to stop Utility MACT, the centerpiece of President Obama's war on coal, from President of the United Mine Workers of America Cecil Roberts and several Democrats, including Governor Tomblin," Senator Inhofe said. "Mr. Roberts and Governor Tomblin are doing the right thing by standing up for workers whose jobs are on the line due to President Obama's out-of-control EPA.
"Remember, EPA itself has openly admitted that its rules are designed to kill coal and that this agenda will be devastating to communities that rely on coal for their jobs and livelihoods: in a newly uncovered video, EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding is caught on tape saying, 'if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem' and went on to say that the decision to kill coal was 'painful every step of the way' because 'if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal.'
"It's very encouraging to have strong support from key Democrats going into our vote on SJR37, and I look forward to the momentum continuing as we work stop an agenda that will be 'painful every step of the way.' Now that Democrats across America have joined in this effort, I hope Democrats in the United States Senate will take note."
Senator Inhofe's resolution (SJR37) would prevent EPA from implementing Utility MACT and require that the agency go back to the drawing board to craft a more workable rule. As it stands now, Utility MACT is so stringent that utilities cannot comply, which means that along with EPA's other air rules, Utility MACT will cause the closure of up to 20% of America's coal fired capacity and destroy 1.6 million jobs in the process.