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McKinley: Shame on you, Lisa Jackson
W.Va. rep reacts to outrageous attack on coal

Washington, D.C. – Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E.(R-WV)reacted Thursday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’sfalse and offensive attack on West Virginia’s lifeblood, coal.

While addressing students Thursday morning at an event at Howard University, Jackson was quoted in Energy and Environment Daily saying, “In their [the coal industry] entire history -- 50, 60, 70 years, or even 30 ... they never found the time or the reason to clean up their act. They're literally on life support. And the people keeping them on life support are all of us.”

Jackson went on to lambast McKinley’s bipartisan coal ash legislation, saying, “That struck me as kind of a way of thinking about what's going on right now inside the beltway…So that's where we are. We're protecting the coal ash from the people rather then protecting the people from the coal ash.”

Rep. McKinley issued the following statement on Jackson’s comments:

“The coal industry is on ‘life support’ for one reason only: Lisa Jackson and Barack Obama. It takes a lot of gall to sit there in her cushy Washington office – lighted by coal, in a building constructed with coal ash – handing down these job-killing regulations, and then turn around and claim the coal industry owes her a favor. It is now unmistakably clear to me that Lisa Jackson’s regulations are not intended to simply strike a proper balance between industry and the environment; rather, the hostility conveyed in her attacks betrays a radical ideologue who believes the folks who mine coal, burn coal and recycle its ash are little better than criminals, and that the government needs to bankrupt the coal industry as the president infamously suggested as a candidate. This administration has zero credibility on jobs, or public health, for that matter.

“As an engineer I’ve seen first-hand how the industry, working with her predecessors, has made great strides over the last several decades in improving its environmental practices as technology has developed – and yet the president’s budget slashed research and development for clean coal technology. Coal ash, when recycled, actually makes building materials and other products more affordable and environmentally-friendly – and yet the president opposes my bipartisan bill to finally create federal standards regulating coal ash. Numerous studies prove that unemployed Americans suffer from higher rates of poor health than those with jobs – and yet the president and his EPA administrator are trying to put hundreds of thousands of men and women in the coal industry out of work. Shame on them.

“Over four months ago, I invited President Obama and Administrator Jackson to visit West Virginia to meet the folks who lost their jobs at several coal-fired power plants due to EPA over-regulation. That invitation still stands; unfortunately, Lisa Jackson’s speech today indicates that those job losses are exactly what they wanted.”

Full article:

http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2011/10/27/8(subscription-only)

Jackson vows to crack down on coal, blasts GOP obstructionism

Emily Yehle, E&E reporter

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2011

U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today said her agency will fight to oversee the coal industry even as Republicans wage war on regulations, but she stopped short of explicitly supporting student-led efforts to shut down campus coal plants.

Many coal-fired power plants have neglected to update their equipment for decades, she said, and EPA plans to ensure they do so through new toxic emissions standards. Those standards -- which were recently delayed a month -- would make power plants use up-to-date technology to control mercury, heavy metals and acid gases by about Jan. 1, 2016.

"In their entire history -- 50, 60, 70 years, or even 30 ... they never found the time or the reason to clean up their act," Jackson said. "They're literally on life support. And the people keeping them on life support are all of us."

Jackson addressed students this morning at an event hosted by the Sierra Club and Howard University and highlighted efforts to switch schools to clean energy sources. So far, according to the Sierra Club, students have succeeded in closing 17 coal-fired power plants on campuses throughout the country. Environmentalists say the effort signals a trend of clean energy on campus(Greenwire, Feb. 28).

But the EPA administrator focused most of her comments on the harsh political environment in which EPA is functioning, with Republicans taking aim at "job-killing regulations" and the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The House has voted more than 160 times to block Clean Air Act rules, she said; recently, lawmakers took a series of votes to stop stricter air pollution limits for coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers and cement kilns.

Jackson summed up the political atmosphere with a reference to North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven's bill to protect coal ash from regulations that would eliminate its use in concrete production.

"That struck me as kind of a way of thinking about what's going on right now inside the beltway," she said, later adding: "So that's where we are. We're protecting the coal ash from the people rather then protecting the people from the coal ash."

Later today, students will visit Capitol Hill and talk with White House Liaison to Young Americans Ronnie Cho in a closed meeting.

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