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The panel also heard from labor leaders, a traditional Democratic Party constituency, who said that union jobs will be lost if the EPA pursues further regulations.

“We are not putting our heads in sand here,” said Bruce Lawlor of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 111. “We will support reasonable measures to increase energy efficiency at coal generation plants, reducing their CO2 emissions; however, we cannot support targets that will force a new wave of plant closures and job losses.”