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Arch Coal responds to EPA’s regulations

World Coal,

Mining company, Arch Coal, Inc., has responded to the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed greenhouse gas regulations announced on 2 June.

“The Administration's plan for regulating greenhouse gases would place the U.S. economy at serious risk," said Arch Coal Senior Vice President of Strategy and Public Policy Deck S. Slone.

The company pointed to the harsh winter over 2013/14, in which coal stockpiles were drawn on to supply the country with energy.

"As was demonstrated this past winter, the US power grid is already in a precarious state due to regulation-driven power plant retirements that are just now getting under way.  In January and February, energy prices spiked in many regions and blackouts were avoided by the slimmest of margins,” Arch said.

"Despite these obvious stresses - and the very real costs they are imposing on US consumers - the EPA has proposed another round of regulations that would drive still more plant closures,” the statement continued, arguing that the regulations would not have the intended effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions – a statement likely to be disputed by both the EPA and environmental scientists (many of whom have said the EPA’s regulations are not stringent-enough).

Arch Coal said that their view of the regulations was buoyed by the fact that "The ultimate authority for addressing greenhouse gas regulations under the relevant provision of the Clean Air Act rests with the states.  Many state legislatures and attorneys general have already spoken out in opposition to any plan that threatens to drive up consumer energy costs and force premature power plant closures.  The EPA-proposed caps are remarkably punitive for many states - particularly those that house America's manufacturing base.”

In a strongly worded statement, the company said it would stand with other industry players with a vested interest in the coal industry to  “continue to encourage the states to stand their ground against the EPA's efforts to impose a costly new programme that goes far beyond what the law allows.”

Dismissing the use of or search for alternative sources of energy, the statement said that "America cannot shrink its way to a low-carbon future, nor can we address global climate concerns unilaterally.  The fact is that fossil fuels are virtually certain to remain the primary fuel source for world energy needs through at least mid-century.”

Investment in CCS

Arch Coal stressed the need to invest in technologies that would clean up the emissions generated from fossil fuels, rather than imposing regulations that simply curtail their use.

"We strongly encourage the Administration to reconsider its regulatory approach and to focus instead on robust investment in advanced technologies, including carbon capture, utilisation and storage.  That is the rational way forward for addressing climate concerns," the company’s statement concluded.

Arch Coal’s voice is one of many in the coal industry to oppose the recently introduced EPA regulations. 

Edited by Sam Dodson

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