It’s safe to say Nathan Huff is not a fan of the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that mandate a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
Huff is a coal miner in the Ohio Valley, and the regulations, he and others believe, will cost them their jobs.
“People need jobs,” he said. “These are high-paying, good jobs for people. They are basically cutting them.”
Despite several reports that predict the EPA’s proposed regulations will have “no meaningful environment benefit,” nearly 600,000 people will lose their jobs by 2023, many of them in the coal industry, according to Heritage Foundation research.
As others have pointed out, it doesn’t have to be this way. “If they want to spend a bunch of money,” miner Chuck Ghent said, “they could build scrubbers in all these plants and they could keep these jobs and keep the miners working.”
And, as miner Mike Shaver noted, it goes beyond the coal industry. “It’s going to affect not just the coal miner community,” he said. “It’s going to affect everybody who has electricity.”
A report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce bears this out. It found that “Americans will pay significantly more for electricity, see slower economic growth and fewer jobs, and have less disposable income.”
Heritage Foundation energy policy experts Nicolas Loris, Kevin Dayaratna and David Kreutzer explain:
These regulations will act as a major energy tax that will not be helpful to American households. Americans will suffer through higher energy bills, but also through higher prices for goods and services, slowing the economy and crippling the manufacturing sector.
…It will cost more to heat, cool and light homes, and to cook meals. These higher energy prices also will have rippling effects throughout the economy. As energy prices increase, the cost of making products rises.
Miners said they would like to see more cooperation and negotiation with the government and one another. “We need to work with the EPA instead of against each other,” miner Bolyard said. “We need to be united.”