Miller condemns EPA’s ‘veiled attempt to destroy coal industry’

U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) denounced what she called an anti-coal decision announced last week by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA plans to remove existing gas plants from a proposed regulation to cut emissions from power plants. The agency will move ahead on finalizing rules to cut emissions from existing coal and new natural gas plants this spring, and immediately start working on a separate rule for existing gas plants, according to a Feb. 29 statement by EPA Administrator Michael Regan. 

The EPA plans to exclude gas-fired power plants from its previous rule on carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants, said Rep. Miller.

“This new guidance from the EPA is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to destroy the coal industry,” the congresswoman said in a March 1 statement. “The EPA continues to create uncertainty with flawed rule making, resulting in unstable markets and higher energy costs for all Americans.”

EPA Administrator Regan said that as the EPA works toward final standards to cut climate pollution from existing coal and new gas-fired power plants later this spring, the agency will take this “new, comprehensive approach” to cover the entire fleet of natural gas-fired turbines, as well as cover more pollutants, including climate, toxic, and criteria air pollution, according to his statement.

However, Rep. Miller wants to overturn this rule in its entirety, “and protect all of West Virginia’s power plants from the EPA’s endless regulations on our energy production,” she said.

Toward that goal, Rep. Miller’s bicameral legislation, the Protect Our Power Plants Act, H.R. 4038/S. 1923, which she sponsored on June 12, 2023, with U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Steve Daines (R-MT), would prohibit the EPA administrator from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing a proposed rule related to new source performance standards and emissions guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions from certain stationary sources.