NMA Welcomes Manchin-Whitfield Bipartisan Approach to Greenhouse Gas Rule

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn issued the following statement in support of a bill introduced in Congress today by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to base proposed New Source Performance Standards for electricity generators on cost-effective and commercially available technologies:

"Sen. Manchin and Chairman Whitfield have established a bipartisan approach to responsible regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

"This bill sensibly requires that EPA base greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants on technology that is proven and commercially available. The agency's current proposal fails this obvious test for reasonable standard setting, gambling on unproven technology and risking far higher electricity costs.

"By blocking this dangerous precedent, the Manchin-Whitfield bill prevents EPA from forcing other industries to comply with unrealistic standards based on arbitrary and unproven technologies. Today's story may be about coal plants, but tomorrow's story will be about other industries if this precedent is allowed to stand.

"The Manchin-Whitfield bill also reserves an important role for Congress in setting emissions standards for existing power plants. This ensures that impacts on employment and grid reliability in each state will be considered before any attempt is made to further shrink the current fleet of coal plants that today generate more of the nation's electricity than any other energy source."

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“There isn’t any place in the world that can do a better job of producing products safely, with environmental protection, as cost-effectively as here in the U.S. But you need a regulatory environment that encourages that.  We have just the opposite. We have a regulatory environment that forces us to spend years and millions and millions of dollars to get the permits necessary to do the work, even at existing operations.”

Hecla CEO and NMA Board Member Phil Baker in an Oct. 17 Coeur D’Alene article on the dangers of permitting delays to domestic manufacturing.