Cecilia Jamasmie | October 28, 2013 MINING.com
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U.S. coal industry workers and coal-states elected officials are set to rally Tuesday morning near the Capitol to protest against federal environmental policies that they believe have hurt jobs.
The Count on Coal demonstration, according to The Washington Times, is expected to draw thousands of coal miners, their families and other energy industry workers from several states.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed new rules limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants and is currently taking public comments on those possible regulations.
Emissions regulations for existing coal-fired power plants will be released next summer.
The EPA’s proposals have hefty legislative hurdles to overcome before becoming law.
The rally on Capitol Hill will include speeches from coal-state members of Congress, such as Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia. Republican Mitch McConnell, who represents the major coal-producing state of Kentucky, is also scheduled to speak tomorrow.
According to figures from the National Mining Association (NMA), about 40% of the U.Ss electricity comes from coal-generated power plants.
The country’s coal industry has been struggling as of late. Total production is on track to fall to a 20-year low of a little more than 1 billion tons this year. And the lack of interest from investors is more evident than ever before. As a prove, the government held an auction for mining rights to a hot, coal-rich tract of land in Wyoming in August, and didn’t attract a single bid.
Despite Obamas administration efforts to reduce carbon emissions, a recent report says that King Coal should continue to reign for years, as it is set to overtake oil as the world’s main source of energy by 2020.