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Poconos Coal

Coal community reacts to new power plant regulations

Coal community reacts to new power plant regulations

TREMONT, Pa. - On Monday, the White House introduced a proposal to reduce carbon emissions from coal plants around the country.

The plan, backed by the Environmental Protection Agency, aims to cut down on pollution and improve public health.

Environmentalists are hailing the proposal as long overdue.

But opponents, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, say the plan could put thousands of jobs on the line.

Some former miners in Schuylkill County are also against the proposal.

"This town was thriving 40 to 50 years ago when coal was king," said John Hublen, a former miner in Tremont.

Those who live in Tremont said the town was thriving when coal was in its prime.

But when the industry turned downward, so did the local economy.

"You would never have to leave this town, you could buy everything you wanted right here on Main Street. Now, you're lucky if you can get gas..  Grocery store ain't none, shoe store, ain't none," said Gene Vance, a former miner.

Vance and Hublen fear that their town will suffer even more if the proposal is approved.

"What's left of it, {coal mining} probably will end it 'cause if people are worried about the ozone layer, or whatever they call that, they won't buy coal. If they won't buy coal, the people who make coal won't have a job," Vance said.

"It's going to destroy it along with the trucking industry," Hublen said.

Each state has to submit its own plan to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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