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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

IBEW Criticizes EPA’s New Coal Emission Standards -- Conflict highlights tension between labor, environmentalists in Dem coalition -- By Lachlan Markay, The Washington Free Beacon

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) blasted the Obama administration’s new standards for coal plant emissions on Monday, saying they will hamper job growth and U.S. energy independence and raise electricity prices.

The union’s antipathy to the plan underscores a long-running tension between big labor and environmentalists, two key segments of the Democratic Party’s political base.

“The draft regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding emissions from newly-constructed power plants threaten economic growth and America’s energy future,” IBEW president Edwin Hill said in a statement.

The regulations propose strict emissions caps for coal-fired power plants, which will have to install costly carbon sequestration systems, which experts say are not yet technologically viable, to meet EPA’s emissions targets.

“The new rules would in effect stop the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States by enforcing emission-reduction goals that just aren’t realistic using today’s technology for carbon capture and sequestration,” Hill said.

Despite its strict emissions caps, some environmentalist groups have said that EPA’s regulations are not strict enough.

“If we’re really serious about tackling the climate crisis—and morality dictates that we must be—we just have to do more than this,” Bill Snape, chief counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

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