Coal's usage as energy source dwindles

A big reason why so many people are rallying against the EPA's regulations is because of the dwindling numbers of coal's use as an energy source.

The federal Energy Information Administration reports coal now accounts for 34 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S.

The usage was recently at nearly 50 percent.

That has many of these folks upset, blaming the Obama administration and Congress.

“22 percent of the world's coal is in the United States of America and therefore coal is always going to be in the equation of our energy,” Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said.

Coal officials say the EPA's strict regulations are making it near impossible for these coal companies to get out of their recent rut.

EPA officials say the agency's rules will in fact create a bright future for coal mines.

“They are beginning to find, target, and isolate specific sources of pollutants to keep them away from the water and this is the kind of innovation and care that will help ensure coal mining will remain a vibrant part of the local economy,” Jim Jitina with the EPA said.

Coal officials still say the EPA's actions are only fueling concerns for the coal fields of Kentucky.

“Right now the looks doesn't spell the best in the world for coal even though coal is the engine that drove the industrial revolution of this country,” Harry Childress said.

Not only affecting those within in the coal industry, but coal officials say everyone who uses electricity will be impacted.

EPA officials say they do recognize people's concerns for job loss and the importance of mining's impact on our health and the environment.


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