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IER criticises federal coal lease moratorium

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World Coal,

US think thank, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), has critised the decision to suspend approvals for new coal leases on federal land, calling it a “shot heard round the West.”

“Throughout his time in office, President Obama has shown complete disregard for the communities and people left in the wake of his ideological climate agenda,” said IER President, Thomas Pyle. “The pattern couldn’t be clearer. Having already destroyed the livelihoods of Appalachian families, the president is now moving to the citizens of the West with this moratorium on coal leasing.”

Pyle also predicted that the coal moratorium would soon be extended to oil and gas leading in an effort to “make [President Obama’s favoured energy sources the ‘preferred’ energy sources,” concluding that “as the sun sets on his presidency, this administration has once again made it clear that they have no intention of slowing down their costly agenda – no matter who it harms.”

The moratorium on coal leasing comes as a recent study released by the IER looking at the economic impact of opening up federal lands to oil, gas and coal leasing concluded that such a policy would boost US GDP by US$127 billion annually over the next seven years, creating an additional 552 000 jobs.

The federal government would also receive an additional US$3.9 trillion in federal tax revenues over a period of 37 years.

“The economic impulses creased by opening federal lands and waters to oil, gas and coal extraction could […] help significantly to spur economic growth – and help break the economy out of its sluggish post-recessionary malaise,” said the report, which was authored by Prof. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State University.

“Importantly, those benefits would be realized without any increase in direct government spending. Rather, increased output would refill national, state and local government coffers without additional government outlays,” Prof. Mason’s report concluded.

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