Ohio Coal Miners Look to Get Some Answers from Sherrod Brown

A group of about 30 miners from Ohio who had traveled to D.C. to speak-out against cap and trade as part of FreedomWorks Take America Back Tax Day Tea Party activities decided to drop in on Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Check out the video clip!

While they didn’t get to meet with Brown himself, a member of the Senator’s staff talked with them and heard their concerns about cap and trade policy that would cost jobs and cause energy costs to skyrocket.

Note that at the end of the exchange the staffer references “a letter” that Senator Brown signed regarding the EPA that he encourages the miners to check-out.  Below is a story that originally ran in The Columbus Dispatch that talks about the letter:

Ohio’s senators ask EPA to go slow on clean-air rules: They say regulations may cut into jobs (Source: The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio) By Jack Torry, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Apr. 20, 2010–WASHINGTON — Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and George V. Voinovich are pressing the Obama administration to adopt clean-air regulations that would be more favorable to industry.

In a previously undisclosed letter, Brown, a Democrat, and Voinovich, a Republican, warned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Ohio and other industrial states “simply cannot afford job losses associated with rules more stringent than necessary to protect the public health and safety.”
Instead, they urged the EPA to write regulations that would include “technically sound and cost-effective options.”

The letter was sent March 26 and signed by nine senators from industrial states, including Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Kit Bond of Missouri and Democrats Evan Bayh of Indiana and Mark Warner of Virginia. The White House Office of Management and Budget has posted it online.

The EPA is under a federal court order to produce new regulations by April 29 that would slash emissions of toxic air pollution from a broad swath of industrial plants.

Most of those plants are powered by coal-burning boilers within the facilities. The new rules would cover tens of thousands of industrial facilities across the country.

“There is a real obvious lobbying blitz to water down what they think the EPA is going to do, and it looks as if they have enlisted George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, an environmental organization in Washington.

Meghan Dubyak, a Brown spokeswoman, said the Ohio Democrat “believes that, during these tough economic times, the EPA should consider manufacturing competitiveness and jobs as it fulfills its important duty of maintaining public health and safety.”

According to White House records, lobbyists and officials from Exxon-Mobil; BASF Corp., a major chemical company; PPG Industries of Pittsburgh; and ISP Chemco, a supplier of specialty chemicals, met with EPA officials last week to discuss the new rules.