Alpha Natural Resources, one of the leaders in the practice of mountain removal mining, has made it clear that they aren’t happy with the new EPA rules that will require a 30% reduction in power plant emissions by the year 2030.
In a notice to about 1,100 employees last week, Alpha informed the workers that they could be laid off due to a mix of “weak market conditions and government regulations…”
According to The Hill, Alpha released a statement to the press with the following anti-EPA claims:
“EPA regulations are at least partly responsible for more than 360 coal-fired electric generating units in the U.S. closing or switching to natural gas. Nearly one of every five existing coal-fired power plants is closing or converting to other fuel sources, and Central Appalachian coal has been the biggest loser from EPA's actions.”
Alpha is being helped along in their attack by the attorney general of West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey, who announced on Friday a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over their power plant standards. In announcing the lawsuit, Morrisey specifically mentioned Alpha’s plight: Our Office will use every legal tool available to protect coal miners and their families from the Obama Administration and its overreach. We can't afford to see more announcements like we saw with Alpha Natural Resources yesterday.
Not a bad return on investment for Alpha, considering the fact that they only invested $2,000 in Morrisey when he was running for attorney general in 2012.
The language used by Alpha and the attorney general is incredibly important.