U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Illinois), co-chair of the Coal Caucus, announced Wednesday an extension on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public comment period for proposed regulations against coal-fired power plants.
“On June 2, the president announced new regulations against coal-fired power plants that would devastate the Southern Illinois coal industry,” Enyart said. “I’ve been fighting against those proposals, and asking Southern Illinoisans to join me and submit comments to the EPA. It is critical that we tell the EPA and the administration that our families depend on the jobs created by coal, and that our homes, businesses and schools depend on coal-generated electricity.
“Over 40 percent of Illinois electricity, particularly right here in Southern Illinois, comes from coal,” Enyart said. “We need an all-of-the-above energy strategy — not regulations that would kill the coal industry with no alternative strategy in place. It is important to note that this regulation would not only affect our coal mines and coal miners, but the railroad industry, power plants and electric companies as well.”
Southern Illinoisans can share their thoughts about the EPA’s proposed rules through Dec. 1 — an extension from the original Oct. 16 deadline. Comments can be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov.
Since taking office last year, Enyart has repeatedly fought to preserve the coal industry in Southern Illinois. In June 2013, Enyart took a stance against new emission rules that would harm the coal industry. Enyart visited SIU’s Coal Research Center in Carterville in July 2013 to discuss coal research and clean coal technology.
In September 2013, Enyart spoke out against proposed laws that would make it virtually impossible to construct a new coal-fired power plant in Southern Illinois. In June 2014, and again in September 2014, Enyart fired back against proposed EPA regulations that would harm local coal mines and coal miners, as regulations were announced that would devastate power plants.