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It's not just the West Virginia coal industry that's feeling the heat from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The president of the Ohio Coal Association says it's a problem nationwide.

"The EPA's flood of new regulations, which we're calling and everybody is calling "the train wreck," must be stopped,” said Mike Carey.

He was a guest speaker Wednesday at the West Virginia Coal Forum in Charleston. He says the Obama administration and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson are determined to bury the industry.

"Don't let it be a surprise when you can't get a permit to mine your coal and you can't get a permit to build a coal-fired power plant,” Carey said. “And oh, by the way, the power plants that you do have, we'll we're going to try to shut them down."

Carey says while Ohio has far fewer coal mines than West Virginia, his state would be devastated if proposed EPA regulations to shut down coal-fired plants were enacted.

"If the proposal were finalized, my state alone, the state of Ohio, which has the manufacturing base, which has the service, which has the agriculture, my state alone loses 53-thousand jobs,” he said.

And it's not just about job losses. Carey says you have to consider the cost of energy. Right now, Ohio and West Virginia both have some of the cheapest utility rates in the country. He told those attending the forum, if the U.S. is forced to move away from coal-fired power plants, expect bills to sky rocket.

"Homeowners in the state of Ohio would pay 23 percent more for their electric rates,” Carey said. But that's not just in Ohio. In Pennsylvania it would go up 17 percent."

Carey believes it's time for the entire nation to stand up and demand the White House and the EPA think long-term about the demands they're making.

"I think the top priority that we have, not just as an Ohio Coal Association or a West Virginia Coal Association or whatever campaign you're part of, the first priority is to stop the EPA Clean Air Act Regulations."

Carey says that doesn't mean destroying the environment. It means burning coal in an environmental friendly way.