Thousands of business owners, elected officials, spiritual leaders and industry advocates sent a powerful message to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at hearings and rallies this week across the nation: Affordable electricity from coal is vital to our American way of life and must continue as a major part of America’s energy future.
“We need to be heard and let people know how important coal is to the economy,” said Twentymile Mine employee Larry Maiolo. “They’re trying to starve us out of affordable energy.”
More than 75 Peabody Energy employees, family members and friends from Wyoming and Colorado rallied at the state capitol in Denver and provided feedback to the EPA. Employees united with federal and state legislators, regional business leaders and others. In all, about 200 supporters gathered in support of low-cost electricity from coal.
Denver is one of 11 cities where the EPA is hosting listening tours on proposed carbon dioxide regulations for existing coal plants. Proposed EPA regulations on both existing and new coal-fueled power plants would adversely increase electricity costs, and new plant standards would require costly emissions control equipment not yet commercially available.
It is important for the EPA to hear from those who live and work in Wyoming, a state that produces the nation’s most coal – 40 percent of the U.S. supply, says Scott Durgin, Senior Vice President of Peabody’s Powder River Basin operations.
“If we limit our nation’s largest source of reliable and affordable American energy, we hurt everyone by driving up prices for electricity, which affects family budgets and makes our country less competitive. We need a common-sense approach,” said Scott. “Peabody employees helped make a difference in Denver, as miners who keep energy prices low for millions of Americans and as consumers and families who are fighting for what they believe in. My hat’s off to all of our employees who are making their voices heard.”
More than 1,600 miles away in Washington D.C. at a rally hosted by the National Mining Association in partnership with industry and state associations, more than 4,200 miners, families and friends, business owners, legislators and community members from across Eastern U.S. states similarly communicated how the EPA’s proposed rules would hurt consumers and commerce.
Next week, Peabody employees, family members and friends from St. Louis and our Midwest Operations will continue to engage in EPA listening sessions in Lenexa, Kan., and Chicago, Ill.