By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is raising concern over a proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency rule that would impact the mining of metallurgical coal.
Manchin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is asking EPA Administrator Michael Regan to reconsider the rule that amends the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for coke ovens. Coke is a critical fuel used in the steelmaking process that is created by heating metallurgical coal.
Metallurgical coal, which is produced in West Virginia, is in return a key component in the production of steel.
The West Virginia Democrat said the new EPA rule will hurt the Mountain State.
“EPA’s proposals introduce new and unwarranted regulatory demands on coke production, which would harm employment prospects in West Virginia, the viability of coke production for the sole two U.S.-based steel blast furnace operators, and the local steel industry crucial for electric vehicles, pipelines, infrastructure growth, solar panels, geothermal plants and other vital sectors,” Manchin wrote in the letter to Regan.