U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the Harvey mine in Sycamore, Pa., today, to meet with coal miners and announce the agency’s Back-to-Basics agenda. The agenda reinforces Pruitt’s commitment to refocusing the EPA, returning power to the states, and encouraging job growth.
“The coal industry was nearly devastated by years of regulatory overreach, but with new direction from President Trump, we are helping to turn things around for these miners and for many other hard working Americans,” Pruitt said. “Back-to-Basics means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.”
Pruitt spoke with coal miners about the President’s recent Energy Independence Executive Order, which directs EPA and other federal agencies to review the Clean Power Plan and revise regulatory barriers that impede energy independence, including unnecessary burdens on coal miners and coal-fired electric utilities.
The miners relished the visit and the announcement. “We welcome Administrator Pruitt to Southwestern Pennsylvania and are very encouraged by the new Administration’s commonsense approach in balancing the need for environmental protection, energy development and economic growth,” Jimmy Brock, CEO of CNX Coal Resources, said.
Rachel Gleason, executive director of PA Coal Alliance said the organization looks forward to new direction from the EPA. “We are hopeful that Administrator Pruitt will work with us to stop the systematic regulatory approach to dismantle industry, and work with us to continue responsible mining and contribute billions to Pennsylvania’s economy,” she said.
Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, said Pruitt’s appearance should give confidence to coal communities across the country. “The days when our government stands in opposition to them are over,” he said. “And the appreciation they deserve for securing the nation’s energy supply for our manufacturing industries and families is finally at hand.”
Following the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order, Pruitt signed four notices to review and, if appropriate, to revise or rescind major, economically significant, burdensome rules issued by the previous administration. This includes the so-called Clean Power Plan that threatens over 125,000 U.S. jobs. EPA is also restoring states’ important role in the regulation of local waters by reviewing the WOTUS (“waters of the U.S.”) rule.