The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invited Coloradoans to participate in ‘listening sessions’ that the agency is conducting across the US to gather ideas about the best way to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.
These sessions will provide members of the public with the opportunity to help shape the policies that will determine the future of Colorado’s energy. Coal currently provides 65% of Colorado’s electricity, so input at these meetings could have a considerable impact on the cost of electricity for homes and businesses across both Colorado and the rest of the US.
"Coal plays an important role in providing Colorado with an affordable and reliable supply of energy," Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, said. "Coal based power plants provide affordable electricity that benefits homes and businesses alike. New coal power plants using 'best in class' technologies available today provide the best opportunity to reduce emissions. It is important for Colorado to continue to enjoy a reliable supply of affordable electricity by preserving the state's attractive energy mix."
In 2011, coal mining activities supported 23 700 jobs in Colorado and contributed US$ 2.77 billion to the state. Wages and benefits related to mining exceed US$ 115 000 every year in Colorado, while the industry pays millions in royalties and taxes that support schools and the government.
"The outcome of these listening sessions is critically important," said Hal Quinn, CEO of the National Mining Association. "Thoughtful policies for existing power plants are needed, that support a diverse energy mix and which serve the public best. Flexibility is important because each state's energy mix and energy needs are different. In Colorado and elsewhere throughout the nation it would be foolish to diminish the role of a plentiful resource like coal in our energy mix just as new technologies allow us to use it to generate electricity in way that addresses America's economic and environmental interests in a balanced fashion."
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/30102013/coal_mining_integral_to_colorado_201/