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Coal industry voices support of Clean Power Plan repeal

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Coal industry voices support of Clean Power Plan repeal

Major coal producers are expressing support for the Trump administration's move to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a notice Oct. 10 of a proposed rule to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The agency said the move will save $33 billion in avoided costs in 2030.

Murray Energy Corp. spokesperson Gary Broadbent said the coal producer fully supports the decision by Pruitt and President Donald Trump to repeal the plan.

"This action, together with the nationwide stay of the Clean Power Plan that Murray Energy Corporation received from the Supreme Court of the United States, has saved over 25,000 American jobs. We will continue to work with President Trump's administration to preserve low-cost, reliable electricity in America, and to protect the thousands of jobs and family livelihoods that rely on the United States coal industry."

Beth Sutton, spokesperson for Peabody Energy Corp., said the coal producer encouraged "continued steps to protect affordable, reliable and resilient coal-fueled generation for American families and businesses."

She said Peabody supported regulation repeal where costs would have been raised and reliability damaged without significant benefit.

"We believe technology is the best path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and continue to advocate for high-efficiency, low-emissions technologies along with carbon capture, use and storage over time," she said.

The American Coal Council also welcomed Pruitt's announcement. CEO Betsy Monseu said in a release that the Clean Power Plan was ill-conceived and unprecedented in scope and reach.

"It attempted to thrust EPA into the role of energy regulator. It would have dramatically transformed how electricity is produced and distributed in the U.S. Economic harm impacting far more than the coal sector would have been the result, including double-digit electricity cost increases for families and businesses," she said.

The Sierra Club said in a release that repealing the Clean Power Plan will threaten thousands of lives from problems like childhood asthma attacks. Executive Director Michael Brune said Trump and Pruitt "will go down in infamy" for their attack on public health, the climate and the safety of U.S. communities.

"The damage caused by Trump's willful ignorance will now have myriads of human faces, because he's proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year. As the climate crisis has made storms like Harvey, Irma, and Maria exponentially worse, Trump's decision to attack climate action through this expected repeal is exponentially more dangerous for our families," he said.

Brune added that Trump is not only ignoring the cost of pollution, but the deployment of clean energy creating jobs all over the U.S.