Clean air advocates and mine workers clash outside of EPA hearin - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Clean air advocates and mine workers clash outside of EPA hearing in Pittsburgh

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While EPA officials were quietly hearing public comments inside the Pittsburgh federal building on Thursday, it was a different scene on the street outside.

An estimated 6,000 mine workers and other unions marched past the federal building, coming face to face with a crowd of clean air advocates, many of whom traveled in a bus caravan from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus. The unions feel the new regulations are a war on coal which is their livelihood.

"They got jobs. We will not have jobs, if they keep this up," said Gary Fleming, a United Mine worker.

The other side said cleaning up the environment will create more new jobs that would bring the miners out from underground.

"Thousands of new jobs for solar wind, geothermal and they would be the ones to get retrained for those fields. That is what we are supporting, we don't want them to be jobless," said Jane Birdsong, a clean air advocate.

In the hearing room, Ray Roberts, with the Citizens Climate Lobby, said he is urging members of Congress to take decisive action for the future health of his children.

"They're having an epic fail by taking no action and there's great costs associated with doing nothing," said Roberts.

Reid Harvey, with the EPA said the Clean Power Plan has yet to have it's final form and these hearings will play a role in the final plan, "Take all these comments on board as we develop a final rule which will come out next year."

 
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