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Peabody Energy praises repeal of Australian carbon tax

World Coal,

The world’s largest private-sector coal mining company, Peabody Energy, has praised the decision by the Australian senate to repeal the controversial carbon tax.

The company claimed the tax hurt consumers by increasing the price of electricity. It also said the tax had damaged the Australian economy.

Despite some political analysts claiming that the repeal of the tax would prove detrimental to Australia, Peabody chairman, Gregory Boyce, said that The Australia government's “reversal of the carbon tax is a lesson in leadership for the modern world."

The Australian government has now repealed what the International Energy Agency (IEA) called “model legislation for developed countries”. Boyce suggested US Government ministers should learn from the Abbott government’s decision: "We encourage US policymakers to take the same path and reject the [Obama] Administration's costly proposed rules on power plants. Technology, not caps and taxes, is the key to long-term improvement in carbon emissions."

Following the senate vote, Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, told voters that the tax “didn’t actually help the environment” and that it was “useless, destructive [and] damaged jobs”.

Peabody claimed the carbon tax caused an estimated AU$ 15 billion in economic impact in its first two years of implementation, according to government estimates.

Peabody said that Australia was an example of how “nations [are continuing] to push back against onerous carbon legislation and renewable mandates that exacerbate energy inequality, raise electricity costs and reduce economic growth.”

The company pointed to Europe's renewable strategy, which it said was being pared back because the continent was threatened by Russia's energy security challenge. Peabody also noted that nations, such as Japan, are using significantly more coal, and multiple nations lead the world in economic growth using coal-fuelled electricity.

The company reiterated its belief that US leaders can learn valuable lessons in rejecting defacto carbon taxes and onerous renewable standards. Peabody noted that the US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the proposed US carbon regulations would cost the economy US$ 50 billion/year.

Peabody said the proposed rules would significantly increase power prices, costing each American household thousands of dollars over time. A Heritage Foundation study reports the cost to an average family of four at US$ 1200/year of lower income and spending power. Low-cost electricity is essential at a time when a record 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance and 48 million live in energy poverty.

In a statement, Peabody said “Coal fuels the lowest cost electricity in the US: The states that do not use coal wrestle with electricity costs that are nearly twice as much as the states that predominantly use coal for electricity. Coal is the world's fastest-growing major fuel set to surpass oil as the world's largest global energy source in coming years.”

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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