Local Energy Leader Calls on 'Common Sense' Approach to Power Plant Rules in Illinois

Nov 07, 2013, 16:26 ET from National Mining Association

Public and Stakeholder Input Critical to Chicago Economy as EPA Hosts 'Listening Session' on Carbon Emissions, says NMA

CHICAGO, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a "listening session" in Chicago to solicit ideas about the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. The agency is conducting 11 such sessions in select cities around the country. These sessions will provide members of the public and other stakeholders in Chicago with the opportunity to help shape the policies that will determine the state's energy future.

As coal provides 40.6 percent of the state's electricity, the input produced by these meetings could have a profound impact on the cost of electricity for homes and businesses across the state and throughout the nation.

"Coal plays an important role in providing Chicago with an affordable and reliable supply of energy," Illinois Coal Association President Phil Gonet said. "Affordable electricity generated by coal-based power plants benefits Chicago homes and businesses alike. And new coal power plants using 'best in class' technologies provide the best opportunity to reduce emissions. We need a common sense approach to any policy changes as it is critically important for Chicago to continue to enjoy a reliable supply of affordable electricity in order to protect the state's manufacturing jobs."

Regional coal-mining activities in 2011 supported 38,810 jobs in Illinois and contributed $4,782 million in direct and indirect economic contributions to the state. The affordable, reliable energy generated from coal also helped support 592,460 manufacturing jobs in the state.

"The outcome of these listening sessions is critically important on a state and national level," National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn said. "Flexibility is important" he added, "because each state's energy mix and energy needs are different.  It would be unwise to diminish the role of a plentiful resource like coal in our energy mix just as new technologies allow us to use it to generate electricity in way that addresses America's economic and environmental interests in a balanced fashion."

The listening sessions will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, from 9:00 a.m.4:00 p.m., U.S.  EPA Region 5 Offices, Metcalfe Federal Building, Lake Michigan Room, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill.

A fact sheet about coal mining in Illinois and the contributions to the state is available here.

The National Mining Association (NMA) is the voice of the American mining industry in Washington, D.C. Membership includes more than 325 corporations involved in all aspects of coal and solid minerals production including coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, mineral processors, equipment manufacturers, state mining associations, bulk transporters, engineering firms, consultants, financial institutions and other companies that supply goods and services to the mining industry.

Nancy Gravatt
(202) 463-2642

Luke Popovich
(202) 463-2620

SOURCE National Mining Association