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Amid Decline in Coal Jobs, Industry Leaders Rally Political Support Against EPA Regulations

Coal Stock Pile

Representatives from the coal industry in West Virginia met with local and state lawmakers Tuesday to discuss the future of the coal industry. Their talk focused on combating Federal environmental regulations, including the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a proposed federal rule meant to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Former coal miner of 40 years from Logan county, Roger Horton, was in attendance at the forum. He said the decline in the coal industry he's witnessing in southern West Virginia is unlike anything he's ever witnessed before.

“You always have the option to retrain them, but retain them for what? A job earning $30,00-$40,000 a year, no insurance. Some will survive, but the vast majority who have spent the last 20 years mining coal, they’re not gonna do it. They’re gonna be casualties on this war on coal," said Horton.

Like most of those who attended the forum, Horton says he doesn’t believe that the climate is drastically changing because of coal fired power plants. Horton is urging his elected officials to do what they can to stop the EPA’s Clean Power Plan because he believes harsh environmental regulations are going to lead to continued decline in coal jobs.

Also on Tuesday, a federal appeals court has thrown out a pair of lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's plan to address climate change.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the lawsuits are premature because the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is not yet final.

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