WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Tuesday he will vigorously oppose new greenhouse-gas rules proposed last week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
During a speech at the John Amos Power Plant near Winfield, Manchin stressed the importance of national energy independence and the impact coal, gas and other energy resources have on creating good-paying jobs.
Today, Manchin said, coal generates 45 percent of all energy used in the United States and "is projected to produce the lion's share of energy decades into the future."
Between 2006 and 2011, Manchin said Tuesday, AEP had as many as 3,200 construction workers at its John Amos plant, now one of the world's cleanest coal plants.
Those workers installed more than $1 billion worth of scrubbers and other equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent, he said.
"Between 2006 and 2011, at AEP power plants in West Virginia, you created 27.7 million work hours on environmental construction projects," Manchin told his audience.
"This plant is an example that when government works as a partner, not an adversary, we can put thousands of people back to work, and find the balance between the economy and environment."
Last week, EPA officials proposed what the agency called a "common-sense" requirement that any new coal-fired power plants include equipment to control their greenhouse-gas emissions.
"Right now there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put into our skies -- and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said at the time. "We're putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American-made technology to tackle a challenge that we can't leave to our kids and grandkids."