Gillette Workers and Residents Attend Affordable Energy Rally

Press Release – Over 500 participants attended the Affordable Energy Rally in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, July 29th to express opposition for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule.  The rally was in conjunction with the EPA hearings being held on July 29th and 30th in Denver. Citizens from Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona came to show support for the energy industry. The rule to limit the use of coal as a fuel for electric generation is described as the largest, most costly rule in EPA’s history. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the regulation will cost the American economy $50 billion each year.  Other reports offered by The Heritage Foundation shows the rule will cost the average family of four $1,200 in energy costs per year. 
 
A long list of speakers took to the podium during the three hour rally at Lincoln Park in Downtown Denver in front of the Colorado State Capitol building, while a plane flew overhead with a banner that read “Stop the EPA Power Grab.” Mary Frontczak from Peabody Energy spoke about her testimony on the proposed Clean Power Plan at the hearing earlier in the day, “Forty eight million Americans live in poverty.  A record one in three households – 115 million people – qualify for energy assistance. Is this our model? Our nation cannot allow the Administration to force carbon proposals that punish electricity consumers, have no material benefit under climate theory and act outside the bounds of the law.”               
 
Peabody Energy employees, their families and friends were the largest group represented.  Fifty people from Wyoming were in attendance with bus transportation provided by the Wyoming Mining Association.  Two of the Peabody employees who work at North Antelope Rochelle Mine, traveled with the group to show their support at the rally for very personal reasons.  Jason Gueller and Matt Teagle felt the effects of mine closures in their home state of Washington in recent years.  Both are currently working here in Campbell County while their families still live in Washington.  Teagle has been traveling back and forth for over five years.  Working in Wyoming has allowed them to support their families back home, which compelled them to represent the local coal industry and oppose the EPA regulations.  In addition to coal mine employees, Representative Troy Mader and Mary Melagrano, Executive Administrator of Campbell County Economic Development, attended the rally.  
 
Bill Schilling, President of the Wyoming Business Alliance was on hand to speak to the crowd.  He discussed the how critical affordable energy is for American small businesses, Wyoming businesses in particular.  He specifically discussed the affect coal has had on Campbell County.  “Since 1961 coal production has increased by 1,000 percent in our state.  From a BTU basis, coal provides 70 percent of total energy.”  He went on to talk about the increase in population, “In the last fifty years, Campbell County population has increased by 800 percent from 6,000 to 48,000 people.” 
 
Dan Caplis, the emcee of the event, stressed that “it isn’t about right or left wing politics, but about right and wrong.” Organizers encourage everyone who will be affected by these proposed regulations to get involved by talking to their friends, families and to write their local government representatives to express their concerns.  Comments can be submitted to the EPA on the Clean Coal Power Plan, but must be received by October 16, 2014.  Email comments to A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov, fax to (202) 566-9744 or by mail to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mailcode 28221T, Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2013-0602, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.  Reference Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in all communications.  
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