Clean Power Plan Hearings: Environment, jobs not an either-or question for West Virginia

by Duane Nichols on December 6, 2017

Hearing for Healthy Communities to Protect the Clean Power Plan

Sierra Club Holds Clean Power Plan Hearing: WeAreWVProud

From an Article by Jessica Schueler, WVNS-TV News 59, November 29, 2017

CHARLESTON, WV — While the U.S. EPA hosted a public hearing in the Capitol Complex, the Sierra Club was also holding a hearing to discuss the potential repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The environmental conservation organization hosted a press conference, panel discussion and public hearing at the University of Charleston to send a strong message to the EPA. All testimony recorded Tuesday will be handed over to the EPA as written comment tomorrow.

From health impacts to economic concerns- experts, leaders and neighbors spent their day breaking down why they believe the Clean Power Plan has to stay.

“Who is the administration thinking about now when they try to repeal the clean power plan? They’re not thinking about their children, they’re not thinking about the next generation, they’re not thinking about our planet,” Mark Magana, CEO of Green Latinos, explained.

Alternative energy entrepreneurs touted the success of renewable resources in other countries, helping protect the earth and save money. “Every single case that I address with colleagues and fixed the pollution problem- improved the bottom line of the company we were working with,” Allan Tweedle said.

Advocates also argue the Power Plan doesn’t take away jobs. “There are now twice as many jobs in the solar industry in the United States, as in the entire fossil fuel industry combined,” Tweedle added.

One veteran physician said more than half of all doctors now believe the Clean Power Plan will improve the health of Americans. “It’s estimated that up to 90,000 asthma attacks a year would be prevented. 1,700 heart attacks would be prevented and 3,600 premature deaths would be prevented- every single year,” Laura Anderko of Georgetown University said.

The EPA required speakers to sign up ahead of time in order to share thoughts on the Clean Power Plan for the hearing, however time is being allocated in the late afternoon for anyone in the public to come in and address staff.


Environment, jobs not an either-or question for West Virginia

Letter to Morgantown Dominion-Post, Betsy Jaeger Lawson, December 3, 2017

The Dominion-Post’s coverage of the Environmental Protection Agency’s hearing in Charleston left me with the usual sense of frustration when reading that limiting carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and protecting jobs is an either-or situation.

Repealing the Clean Power Plan is not going to help us or bring coal-mining jobs back.

It will keep us trapped in an endless cycle of poverty and poor health. As many people at the hearing said, the Clean Power Plan does not go far enough.

More carbon and methane in the atmosphere will create much worse health problems down the road and we need even stricter limits than what President Obama’s EPA proposed.

To say that the EPA is overstepping its bounds by protecting air and water quality is nonsensical. Their job is to protect the environment and our health. Employment is the responsibility of the Department of Labor.

I attended the hearings in Charleston. The Sierra Club sponsored a well-attended hearing at the same time with an impressive panel of experts, which was never mentioned in the newspaper article.

It is not environmental regulations that are causing the coal industry to wind down. But that is a convenient excuse given by the fossil fuel barons who want to protect their wealth. We have to stop thinking of clean environment and jobs as an “either-or.” The future of West Virginia depends on it.


See also: Sierra Club outlines opposition to repeal of Clean Power Plan

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