Boilermakers President Newton B. Jones Seeks Dialogue with EPA, DOE Nominees

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The Boilermakers union, which works extensively in the energy industry, especially with coal-fired and nuclear-fueled power plants, will seek a working dialogue with Gina McCarthy, Obama's nominee for EPA Administrator, and Ernest Moniz, the president's nominee for DOE Secretary.

Newton B. Jones, President of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, AFL-CIO and CLC, said the union “will seek a constructive dialogue for the future of clean coal” with President Obama’s nominees to head the EPA and DOE.

Obama announced March 4 that Gina McCarthy is his choice as EPA Administrator and Ernest Moniz his pick for DOE Secretary. The nominees both face Senate confirmation hearings.

McCarthy is currently the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA. While her office has been responsible for some of the more restrictive regulations impacting fossil fuel-fired boilers during Obama’s first term, she is widely seen as a straight talker and someone who is willing to consider the interests of all parties involved in an issue, including those from industry and labor.

“McCarthy has at least been willing to accept a petition for reconsideration that was filed by the Boilermakers in 2012 concerning the new source emission levels in the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule,” President Jones noted. “That’s a positive development for our industry, since the final rule created standards on new coal-fired power plants that we believe could not be achieved.”

A final, updated new source standard addressing these concerns is expected to be published by the EPA soon.

President Jones also stated, “Despite our ongoing concerns about the effects of recent regulations on fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units (EGUs) promulgated by the EPA, including the proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for Power Plants, we sincerely hope that as head of the EPA, Ms. McCarthy will continue to work with us and others in ensuring a future for coal as we address the nation’s climate change policy.”

Obama’s nominee for Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, received praise from President Jones for being open to a variety of energy sources, including clean coal. A physicist and director of the MIT Energy Initiative, Moniz has also supported nuclear and natural gas harvesting technologies.

“Moniz is willing to consider non-renewable fuels as part of the energy mix our country will need going into the future,” President Jones said. “The clean coal industry must be a part of that mix, and we will continue to stress the vital role coal must play in the American energy portfolio.

“We look forward to pursuing these issues with McCarthy and Moniz pending the outcome of the Senate confirmation hearings.”

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         The International Brotherhood of Boilermaker is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan. The union represents workers primarily in field construction, industrial plants and shops, shipbuilding, cement, manufacturing, and railroads.

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Mike Linderer, Director of Communications