New EPA rules could hit coal industry hard in PA, Gov. Corbett says

Matt Richmond
June 3, 2014

Part of the Obama administration’s plan to reduce carbon emitted by power plants has each state taking responsibility for the emissions within their borders. Pennsylvania would be required to make 30 percent in cuts over the next 15 years.

Jake Smeltz is the President of Pennsylvania’s Electric Power Generation Association – an industry trade group. To meet the goal, Smeltz predicts the state will beef up energy efficiency programs and see more power plants switching to natural gas.

“Society has decided that they would prefer to see other sources that are less emitting than coal-fired power plants.”

That has environmentalists cheering, but in a state that is a major coal producer, the plan is also meeting immediate, intense criticism.

Governor Corbett released a statement saying the proposal could force plants to close, costing thousands of people their jobs. Patrick Henderson is the governor’s energy executive:

“I think we need to be very cautious about how the federal government’s going to approach this.”

The federal government expects to finalize the new rules by next June.