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US coal industry reacts angrily to EPA rule

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World Coal,

The US coal industry has reacted angrily to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% of 2005 levels, with the West Virginia Coal Association calling it a “slap in the face”.

“Today, American policy should be guided not by a modelled crisis, but by the real crisis of more than one of every three US households that qualify for energy assistance,” said Peabody Energy in a press statement. “Energy inequality in the US is an enormous challenge and access to low-cost energy is a basic need. Yet proposed regulations will make energy scarcer and more expensive without any material improvement in emissions.”

Tellingly, the rule has not received support from all in the president’s own party: member of the CoalBlue group of coal-supporting Democrats labeled the rule “flawed and imprudent”. It argues that rather then demonising coal, the US should be preparing to lead the world in the development clean coal solutions.

“Developing nations will not follow if our approach is based upon increasing basic energy costs that would work against their efforts to grow their economies and raise the standard of living of their people,” the group said in a statement. “The most effective and realistic path to addressing the climate challenge and successfully reducing global CO2 emissions will come through energy innovation – the development and global deployment of new technologies that make all clean, low-carbon energy cheaper, and thus have a strong, lasting impact on global emissions. It is through the development, demonstration, deployment and export of a new generation of lower-cost, low-carbon energy technologies that the US should stake its claim to global leadership.”

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