EPA Coal Rule Threatens Energy Independence, Says IBEW


September 23, 2013

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Edwin D. Hill issued the following statement today:


“The draft regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding emissions from newly-constructed power plants threaten economic growth and America’s energy future.

“The new rules would in effect stop the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States by enforcing emission-reduction goals that just aren’t realistic using today’s technology for carbon capture and sequestration.

“The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers remains strong supporters of clean coal technology and federal and industry investment to make it a realistic option for the energy industry. But in mandating new coal plants use technology that is not even commercially available or affordable, the EPA is unfairly singling out the coal industry and setting back efforts to grow the economy and promote energy independence.

“This means higher electricity bills for consumers and layoffs and economic slowdown for tens of thousands of working families that rely on the coal industry for employment.

“The EPA itself has estimated that mandating carbon capture and storage technology that still has not been deemed commercially viable would raise the cost of electricity by 80 percent.

“President Obama has always said he supports an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy that values a diverse energy portfolio, including coal.  But by effectively banning the construction of new coal-fired plants, the EPA is forcing America into heavy reliance on the volatile natural gas market, abandoning our nation’s largest fossil fuel base and large parts of coal-producing America along with it.

“Strong job growth and energy independence cannot be achieved without coal, a key part of our energy mix.”

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and stands out among the American unions in the AFL-CIO because it is among the largest and has members in so many skilled occupations.


Photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Crazy George.