LETTER: EPA should talk to locals about coal regulation | PostIndependent.com

LETTER: EPA should talk to locals about coal regulation

The EPA recently held what it termed a “listening session” in Denver ostensibly to hear comments and suggestions as to how best to design and implement carbon control standards on existing power plants — meaning, of course, how best to dismantle the coal industry.

If the EPA is really interested in finding workable solutions, why are all of their “listening sessions” in big cities around the nation? The EPA’s tour stopped in places like New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, and Boston, as well as Denver. Why were there no stops planned in rural America? Why not come to Northwest Colorado, visit the Craig plant, and listen to people who live and work near it?

Is it because they would find that the emissions from the plant are extremely low, that the air in the vicinity of one of those plants that are supposed to spew hundreds of tons of toxins is actually clean and healthy? Or that coal supports what shreds of an economy remain in the region, and that real families with real homes and real bills and real dreams would be the ones to suffer if the EPA regulates their jobs away?

I would invite the EPA to come to northwest Colorado; see for yourselves what clean coal really means. Talk to the people who will be the most impacted by your decisions. It is unconscionable that a federal bureaucracy would make decisions that affect the lives of millions — not just rural communities that depend on mining, but all of the millions who would be forced to pay higher rates for keeping their lights on if unreasonable and unscientific standards are imposed — without once stepping out of their comfortable offices to talk to the people who are on the front lines, and see for themselves just what exactly it is that they propose to regulate.

Marilyn Oden


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