U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill, Mo. today to discuss EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda, which aims to refocus the agency on its core mission of protecting the environment through sensible regulations developed in cooperation with state, local and tribal partners. Administrator Pruitt spoke with more than 300 power plant workers, electric cooperative members and agriculture leaders about balancing environmental protection with affordable energy and jobs.
“Rather than regulating an entire industry out of business, I’m committed to working in coordination with states to create a healthy environment where jobs and businesses can grow. That’s the purpose of my Back-to-Basics agenda,” said Administrator Pruitt. “Last week I went underground in a Pennsylvania coal mine, and today I got a firsthand look at a Missouri coal-fired power plant. Coal is, and will continue to be, a critical part of America’s energy mix. I saw today just how important this fuel source is to affordable electricity and economic development in the region, especially in the agriculture community.”
Administrator Pruitt also spoke with workers and co-op members about the President’s recent Energy Independence Executive Order and his Executive Order directing EPA to review the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, known as WOTUS.
“When EPA asked for comments from the public on its Clean Power Plan in 2013, Missouri electric cooperative members responded with more than 300,000 comments, all with a common theme: ‘Don’t raise our rates, and we want an all-of-the-above energy strategy that keeps electricity affordable and creates jobs.’ Those comments fell on deaf ears. We are encouraged to see that the Trump Administration understands the concerns of people in rural America and is committed to bringing the change they want. We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt and other administration officials as they work to ensure Washington regulations don’t harm the people who can least afford it — our members — and help rural communities create jobs,” said Barry Hart, Executive VP and CEO of Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
“Responsible coal generation plays a key role in making sure rural America has access to affordable power it can count on. While natural gas prices and other variables may periodically affect the operation of generating units like those here at Thomas Hill Energy Center, coal is still the foundation fuel that delivers reliability at competitive prices for our cooperative system. Based on his visit today and our conversation, it’s clear to me Administrator Pruitt’s vision and priorities for the EPA align with the values of Associated Electric and our members,” said David Tudor, CEO & General Manager, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.
“Missouri is proud to host U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on his Back-to-Basics tour. We are encouraged that it is a new day at the agency, one in which all sides are heard and common sense will be considered in decisions that affect people’s lives and economic livelihood. The last time an EPA Administrator traveled to our state she was in the midst of a lobbying campaign for the onerous Waters of the United States rule that would make 99 percent of Missouri land subject to federal regulation. President Trump’s decision to conduct a thorough review of the WOTUS rule is a good step, and we look forward to the day when government overreach is no longer standard operating procedure. Missouri farmers and ranchers work hard every day to produce an abundance of high quality and affordable food and don’t need to be targeted for unnecessary and costly government regulations,” said Blake Hurst, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau.
See the press release here.