HARRISBURG – On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Corbett rallied on behalf of working families in Pennsylvania’s energy sector.
Joined at the Rally to Support American Energy in Pittsburgh by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Corbett criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recent proposed rule for power plant emissions reduction, which could result in significant job loss in Pennsylvania.
“In Pennsylvania, nearly 63,000 men and women work in jobs supported by the coal industry,” Corbett said. “Anything that seeks to or has the effect of shutting down coal-fired power plants is an assault on Pennsylvania jobs, consumers, and those citizens who rely upon affordable, abundant domestic energy.”
Pennsylvania’s coal industry is a vital contributor to the state’s economy, with direct, indirect and induced impacts responsible for approximately $4.1 billion in economic output; $2.1 billion directly by the coal industry. Of the nearly 63,000 jobs attributed to Pennsylvania’s coal industry, more than 8,100 are miners.
Coal is a crucial energy resource, used to generate more electricity than any other resource in Pennsylvania and responsible for approximately 44 percent of the state’s electricity generation. In 2011, Pennsylvania generated 227 million megawatts of electricity, making it the second largest producer of electricity in the United States and the largest net exporter of electricity among the states.
“Reducing greenhouse emissions is a goal we support,” Corbett said. “However, some officials refuse to acknowledge that coal is now cleaner, and they don’t recognize the advancement this American industry has made, particularly in Pennsylvania. In recent years, Pennsylvania has made great strides to reduce emissions, and I am confident in saying that our commitment to Pennsylvania’s coal industry does not mean we have to sacrifice clean air.”
In April, in anticipation of EPA’s proposed rule, Pennsylvania submitted a plan that would achieve lower emissions from existing power plants, which would lead to cleaner air, by removing obstacles and encouraging efficiency projects. At the heart of Pennsylvania’s plan is efficiency and the preservation of states’ authority and discretion in the development and implementation of emissions control programs.
“No one disagrees that protecting our environment is crucial, and that we need to do our fair share,” Corbett said. “In Pennsylvania, that is exactly what we are doing. We have proposed a plan to EPA that would realize lower emissions and cleaner air through increased efficiency, without endangering jobs or our stable and diverse energy supply.”
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be testifying on EPA’s proposed rule, offering Pennsylvania’s plan for how cleaner air, lower energy prices and more jobs can be achieved through a responsible plan for emissions reduction that recognizes Pennsylvania’s diverse energy resources.
For more information about Corbett’s energy plan for Pennsylvania, visitwww.governor.pa.gov/energy.
To review the plan submitted by Pennsylvania, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, select “Air,” then “Bureau of Air Quality.”