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EPA Launches Back-To-Basics Agenda at Pennsylvania Coal Mine

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U.S. EPA Media Relations (

SYCAMORE, Pa. – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., today, to meet with coal miners and announce EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda. The agenda reinforces Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to refocusing EPA on its intended mission, returning power to the states, and creating an environment where jobs can grow.

“What better way to launch EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda than visiting the hard-working coal miners who help power America. The coal industry was nearly devastated by years of regulatory overreach, but with new direction from President Trump, we are helping to turn things around for these miners and for many other hard working Americans,” said Administrator Pruitt. “Back-to-Basics means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.”

Administrator Pruitt spoke with coal miners about the President’s recent Energy Independence Executive Order, which directs EPA and other federal agencies to review the Clean Power Plan and revise regulatory barriers that impede energy independence, including unnecessary burdens on coal miners and coal-fired electric utilities.

“We welcome Administrator Pruitt to Southwestern Pennsylvania and are very encouraged by the new Administration’s commonsense approach in balancing the need for environmental protection, energy development and economic growth,” said Jimmy Brock, CEO of CNX Coal Resources.

“The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance looks forward to new direction from the EPA. We are hopeful that Administrator Pruitt will work with to stop the systematic regulatory approach to dismantle industry, and work with us to continue responsible mining and contribute billions to Pennsylvania's economy,” said Rachel Gleason, Executive Director of PA Coal Alliance.

“Administrator Pruitt’s appearance should give confidence to coal communities across the country that the days when our government stands in opposition to them are over and that the appreciation they deserve for securing the nation’s energy supply for our manufacturing industries and families is finally at hand,” said Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association.

In his speech to Pennsylvania miners, Administrator Pruitt explained that EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda means returning EPA to its core mission and focusing on greater value and results. EPA will be partnering with states and tribes to ensure a thoughtful approach is used to maximize resources to protect America’s air, land, and water. 

Photos from the announcement


Protecting the environment; engaging with state, local and tribal partners; and creating sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.

  • Following the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order, Administrator Pruitt signed four notices to review and, if appropriate, to revise or rescind major, economically significant, burdensome rules the last Administration issued. This includes the so-called Clean Power Plan that threatens over 125,000 U.S. jobs.
  • EPA is restoring states’ important role in the regulation of local waters by reviewing the WOTUS (“waters of the U.S.”) rule.
  • EPA is clearing the backlog of new chemicals that were waiting approval from EPA, so they can go to market, and companies can innovate and create jobs.
  • EPA is helping states achieve high air quality targets, clean up toxic waste sites and improve America’s water infrastructure.
  • EPA rescinded an unjustified, premature evaluation of greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles, and is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a collaborative and robust review of the standards.
  • The agency is reviewing the Oil and Gas Methane New Source Performance Standards for new and modified sources, to determine whether it is duplicative.
  • EPA is allocating funds for vital environmental projects that go directly to the health of our citizens, such as providing $100 million to upgrade drinking water infrastructure in Flint, Michigan.
  • EPA is stopping the methane Information Collection Request (ICR) by telling businesses they no longer have this additional bureaucratic burden, with the cost to American businesses attempting to comply exceeding $42 million.
  • Launched the EPA Regulatory Reform Task Force to undergo extensive reviews of the misaligned regulatory actions.