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Rail, mine workers to join Thursday protest in Pittsburgh opposing EPA rule


More than 5,000 members of unions representing railroad, mine, electrical, utility and other workers plan to hold a rally and march tomorrow in downtown Pittsburgh to protest a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would limit greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power-generation sources.

The rally and march will be held at the William S. Morehead Federal Building, where the EPA will conduct a public hearing on the proposed rule. On June 2, the EPA unveiled the rule, which would regulate power-generation plants — primarily coal-fueled facilities — to reduce greenhouse gases.

"We estimate this rule could cause more than 65,000 workers in the coal, utility and railroad industries to lose their jobs by 2025," said United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts in a press release. "Climate change is a global issue that requires a global solution. The EPA’s proposed rule will … cost many thousands of our members their jobs, have significant impact on their communities and also mean higher electricity rates for everyone."

The rule also would significantly reduce the amount of coal used to generate electricity and potentially devastate communities reliant on the coal industry, said Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen National President Dennis Pierce.

"Nearly one in five railroad jobs is directly linked to coal haulage," he said. "If these jobs are lost, it is unlikely that new business generated on our nation’s railroads will ever make up for the loss of coal.

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More News from 7/30/2014