The Environmental Protection Agency can do its job without killing jobs. That was the message from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at the Thomas Hill Energy Center near Clifton Hill, Mo., today. The coal-fired electricity plant is owned by Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated, which generates power for Missouri's rural electric cooperatives. The Thomas Hill facility has some 239 employees and an annual budget of $200 million, a significant contributor to the economy of Randolph County in rural north central Missouri.
"The war on coal is over," Pruitt said. "The war on fossil fuels is over." Pruitt added that the United States has grown proficient in providing clean energy, something that should be celebrated. Pruitt outlined the measures the Trump administration has taken to roll back controversial rules from the EPA including Waters of the United States regulations that would have drastically increased regulatory oversight of land use across the nation. "Land is your most important asset," Pruitt told the crowd. "I know that. You know that. Washington D.C. doesn't know that."
The visit to Thomas Hill Energy Center was part of Pruitt's "Back-to-Basics" tour, which has included a trip to a Pennsylvania coal mine and a stop at the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, Indiana.