U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined people gathered in Gillette today to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed repeal of the so-called “Clean Power Plan.”
At a rally, and later at an EPA organized listening session, Enzi criticized the Obama-era rule for the destruction it would impose on the coal industry. Under the Clean Power Plan, Wyoming would have had to reduce its emissions by 44 percent by 2030, forcing the closure of many coal power plants and discouraging investments in new facilities.
Enzi characterized the rule as not only unnecessary and burdensome for Wyoming, but also as an overreach of the EPA’s authority.
“Wyoming’s future economic certainty, thousands of jobs and our energy security depend on repealing the Clean Power Plan,” Enzi said. “I hope the EPA carefully takes into consideration the opinions of the Wyomingites who spoke here today and the positive impacts repealing this rule will have on Wyoming’s communities.”
According to a study conducted by the University of Wyoming, in the best case scenario, the Clean Power Plan would have resulted in a loss of more than 7,000 jobs in Wyoming and the elimination of 1 in 10 jobs in the Powder River Basin. By 2030, researchers also estimated a 36-46 percent decrease in revenue from coal and natural gas.
“As the former mayor of Gillette, I know firsthand the benefits coal brings to this community and to our entire state,” Enzi said. “Revenue from coal funds our state budget – which translates into money for public schools and infrastructure projects that benefit the entire state. The coal industry in Wyoming creates good, high-paying, reliable jobs for thousands of people. The Clean Power Plan’s attack on our jobs and our entire state’s economy is unacceptable.”