Rep. Murphy holds rally in support of coal miners' jobs in Pittsburgh

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PITTSBURGH - Rep. Tim Murphy spoke to dozens of coal miners at the Boilmakers Hall in Pittsburgh on Friday at a rally a week after First Energy announced that it will close two plants: Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Masontown, Greene County and Mitchell Power Station in Courtney, Washington County.

“When people turn their light on in the morning, their stove starts up, they’ve got to remember, it's because of you,” said Murphy at the rally.

Many miners that attended the rally said they came straight from underground to support the rally in the hopes of saving their jobs.

“We really have to stand up and let everyone know coal powers the world, made the modern world what is today, and started the industrial revolution. The world owes a lot to coal,” said Blaze Bucha, a Consol Energy fork mine worker.

A First Energy spokesperson told Channel 11 that the decision to close the Greene and Washington County plants is “based on the cost of compliance with environmental regulations coupled with the continued low market price and low demand for electricity."

First Energy spent $600 million in 2009 on the Hatfield’s Ferry Station to comply with EPA regulations but would need to spend an additional $245 million to comply now.

“The EPA moves the goal post so these plants can't comply,” said Murphy.

Murphy said he plans to investigate what he calls “excessive EPA regulation” and the effect they are having on jobs and economic growth.

Both stations are scheduled to close in October.