EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s heading to Missouri with his “Back-to-Basics” tour, visiting a coal-fired power plant on Thursday. His visit to the Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. Thomas Hill Energy Center near Moberly will come a week after he went to a Pennsylvania coal mine and declared the war on coal was done.
Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican will join the former Oklahoma Attorney General. Pruitt’s expected to deliver the same kind of message he delivered last week, emphasizing the executive order from President Trump that eased regulations on fossil fuels.
The 1,153-megawatt plant is located near the Thomas Hill reservoir in the state part of the state. Pruitt’s visit is organized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Associated Electric Cooperative serves nearly 875,000 homes in Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa.
“As a leading power generation and transmission company, it is important for us to understand Administrator Pruitt’s perspective and to share our experience with him,” AECI spokesman Mark Viguet said in an emailed statement. “Working together, we can make sure responsible and affordable energy remains the cornerstone of our rural electric cooperative system.”
The Thomas Hill plant, one of two coal-burning plants in AECI’s generating portfolio, employs about 230 people. The plant, which sits beside a man-made reservoir that provides a source of water, has three units, the first of which began operation in 1966.
But Pruitt’s visit isn’t well received by environmentalists. Andy Knott’s a senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Missouri.
“In general, we’re appalled at Pruitt’s agenda. He thinks the only way to create jobs is to reduce regulations on coal when the economics are clearly changing for clean energy.”