Coal Caucus takes on EPA

Coal fans preparing for a battle with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers have formed a 'Coal Caucus' to protect coal plants in Pennsylvania and other states against the EPA's new emissions regulation, the Register Herald reports.

Last week the EPA announced emission limit rules for new coal-fired power plants. 

Opponents say the Obama administration is "waging a war on coal" that's going to destroy the economies of coal-producing states.

The 13-member bipartisan Caucus is not new – it's been operating unofficially for years – but the group's new leadership is expected to make a more serious push for coal.

“Coal has been a longstanding regional economic driver and a good livelihood for thousands of area families for generations,” state senator Rich Kasunic said as reported on PaSenate.com. “I am hopeful this new formalized legislative caucus will take an aggressive position on economic, safety and jobs issues that impact the industry.”

He says the EPA's rules are "unnecessarily harsh."

Kasunic also noted that lawmakers will "need to take a balanced approach" which takes into account advancing technologies, PaSenate writes.

He also wants the Caucus to meet with companies to address safety and working conditions in mines.