News Releases from Headquarters›Office of the Administrator (AO)
Administrator Pruitt Visits Wyoming Coal Country
Wright, Wyo. – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited Wyoming and toured the Black Thunder coal mine. Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) also took part in the tour.
"Wyoming has been blessed with tremendous natural resources that help power America, and today we saw that firsthand," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA is committed to working with America’s energy producers as partners, not adversaries, to protect the environment and provide affordable energy to millions of Americans."
Administrator Pruitt along with Senators Barrasso and Enzi, Louise Carter-King (Mayor of Gillette) and Ralph Kingan (Mayor of Wright) took an in-depth tour of the Black Thunder coal mine, one of the largest in the country. Wyoming is the number one producer of coal in the country and is committed to reclamation and environmental stewardship. Administrator Pruitt brought the good news to State of Wyoming that the “war on coal” is over and provided an update on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
“Today was a special opportunity to reiterate our shared commitment to Wyoming coal, oil, natural gas, and other resources that will power our American economy for generations to come,” said U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt saw firsthand the state-of-the-art coal operations taking place every day in Wyoming. Just as important, he met the hard working men and women who provide America with affordable and reliable power. Administrator Pruitt saw up close the impressive reclamation work being done at Wyoming’s mines to protect and restore the environment. Carbon capture technology will also play an important role in keeping coal clean and sustainable for the future. I am glad that Administrator Pruitt got to visit the mine and this community. I am thankful to Black Thunder mine for hosting us and to Administrator Pruitt for accepting my invitation to come to Wyoming.”
“I appreciate Administrator Pruitt travelling to Wyoming, and my hometown, to see the best coal in the nation," said U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY). “I am glad we now have an Administration that is willing to work with our nation’s energy producers. As the former Mayor of Gillette, I helped these mines get permitted and know firsthand their pristine environmental track record and the benefits they bring to the community.”
"We were extremely pleased to have Administrator Pruitt, Senator Enzi, and Senator Barasso visit Black Thunder today," said Arch's President and Chief Operating Officer Paul A. Lang, . "We are enormously proud of the Black Thunder mine and the nearly 1,200 hardworking men and women that operate the mine in a safe, environmentally responsible and efficient manner. We appreciate the Administrator's interest in this crucial American energy resource and we're proud to have the opportunity to showcase our operation. We applaud the Trump administration and Administrator Pruitt's commitment to ensuring that there is a robust and vital role for coal in America's energy future."
Soon after the previous Administration issued the Clean Power Plan in 2015, 150 entities including 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 rural electric co-ops, and three labor unions challenged the CPP, highlighting a range of legal and technical concerns. A few months later, the United States Supreme Court stayed the CPP, immediately halting implementation—the first time the Supreme Court had ever issued a stay to block the enforcement of a regulation after the D.C. Circuit refused to do so.
On March 28, 2017, Administrator Pruitt signed a notice indicating the EPA’s intent to review the Clean Power Plan, in accord with the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order. On October 16, 2017, the EPA proposed to repeal the CPP, proposing that it is not consistent with the Clean Air Act. EPA is now taking comment on that proposal and has extended the public comment period to April 26, 2018, and just completed a CPP listening session in Gillette, Wyo., which is part of Administrator Pruitt’s commitment for the Agency to hear from the public.