The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public hearing today and Wednesday in Charleston on the proposed Clean Power Plan repeal.
The public hearing will take place at the Capitol Complex from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. According to The Associated Press, this is the only hearing scheduled by the EPA so far.
A news release from the EPA said the agency may continue the public hearing Thursday if it receives a high volume of requests.
“The EPA is headed to the heart of coal country to hear from those most impacted by the (Clean Power Plan) to get their comments on the proposed repeal rule,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a news release. “The agency looks forward to hearing from all interested stakeholders.”
The Clean Power Plan was issued in 2015 and set new greenhouse gas regulations by imposing stricter carbon dioxide limits on states, according to previous reports. This represented a 32 percent cut by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Under the plan, states had until 2022 to comply.
However, shortly after the plan was issued, 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 rural electric co-ops and three labor unions challenged the plan.
West Virginia was among the states that challenged the plan, led by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
“I strongly support the EPA’s decision to repeal this devastating and job-killing rule,” Morrisey said in a news release issued earlier this month when the EPA announced the hearings. “Our office has been a leader in fighting against the Obama-era Power Plan. I’m glad the EPA selected Charleston as the setting for this crucial hearing, where its leaders will be able to hear from those directly impacted by this unlawful regulation.”
The U.S. Supreme Court later stayed the Clean Power Plan and halted its implementation. Pruitt signed a notice indicating the EPA’s intent to review the Clean Power Plan after President Donald Trump’s executive order. Last month, the EPA proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan.
The West Virginia Coal Association announced Monday that it along with other industry supporters will host a rally supporting the proposed repeal. The rally is scheduled to take place at noon Tuesday outside the Capitol.
According to a news release from the West Virginia Coal Association, those who are scheduled to speak at the rally are Gov. Jim Justice, Morrisey, Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead.
That event starts at noon and will run throughout the day. Price said speakers will range from those in the medical profession, former coal miners and professionals from the scientific community who will discuss the benefits of the Clean Power Plan.
The event will also have a public comment period where people can give their own comments, which will be transcribed and submitted to the EPA.
“When the EPA announced its one and only hearing across the country would be in Charleston, West Virginia, I think it’s pretty evident that the only evidence they will be hearing is one side of the story,” Price said. “By coming to Charleston, they will only hear one narrative of those against the Clean Power Plan and we want to highlight that there are people in West Virginia and across the region and country who support the Clean Power Plan and see pro-environment and pro-worker benefits.”
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