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Count on Coal wants state, not federal, regulation

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 06:44 PM EDT

wtov9.com
HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio – With the federal Environmental Protection Agency putting stricter regulations on coal-fired power plants, many people have questions whether the industry can survive the tighter guidelines.
One organization is moving to transfer the regulations from the federal to the state level to help ensure the industry's survival.
Doug Matheney is the director for Count on Coal,  a campaign to make America aware of the benefits of affordable, reliable coal-generated electricity.  
On Wednesday, he presented a resolution to Harrison County Commissioners that would transfer the enforcing of those EPA regulations from the federal level to the state level.
While the legislation hasn't yet been introduced, support has been growing behind it.
Count on Coal’s resolution concerns enforcement with the Federal EPA and ask that the Ohio state EPA does the enforcing for any new regulations on coal fired power plants in the state of Ohio.
“It will allow them to take into consideration the economic development of the area and how in closing it, that will affect it,” Matheny said.
Matheney believes the federal regulations will cause electricity rates to skyrocket. He said that if the enforcement was transferred back to the state, they would have more flexibility to allow them to meet those federal goals.
“It would depend on the length of time to do the enforcement,” he said. “Ohio would have the ability to perhaps extend the period of time that it takes to reach the goals set by the Federal Government.”
Though the resolution hasn't  yet been introduced, Matheney wants to gather support to show the legislatures that counties and residents are in favor of the switch.
He says bottom line comes down to keeping jobs in the state.
“These new regulations are not only going to hurt individuals, they're also going to hurt businesses which may cost jobs in the end. And that's what we're trying to prevent,” he said.
Commissioners were in full support of the resolution but wanted to fully review the document before passing it.

Count on Coal wants state, not federal, regulation


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