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Coal industry testifies against EPA carbon rule

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World Coal,

The coal industry has offered its testimony on the impact of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants at a public hearing in Washington DC.

“EPA’s proposal is another step in this administration’s policies designed to eliminate low cost and reliable electricity and replace it with more expensive and less reliable sources,” said Hal Quinn, CEO of the National Mining Association. “By reducing the diversity of our nation’s electricity supply and raising its costs, [the] EPA will create a structural barrier for our economic recovery and future growth.”

Echoing Quinn, Fredrick Palmer, senior vice president of government relations at Peabody Energy, argued that "using coal for electricity enables people to live longer and better and drives the lowest US electricity costs for any major fuel."

"This proposal would endanger human health and welfare by making electricity – one of life's necessities – scarce and expensive," Palmer continued, arguing that the “the real endangerment finding” is the harm the rule will have on the most vulnerable in society, as well as on a “fledgling economy”.

Instead, Palmer said, technology offers a better way to reducing carbon emissions, while maintaining electricity affordability. This could include investing in efficiency improvements, deploying advanced supercritical coal-fired power plants and supporting greater R&D into next generation technologies – including carbon capture and storage.

"We must reject the Administration's harmful carbon proposal and put in place a technology path for long-term improvement in carbon emissions. This is a far better path for a clean, secure energy future," Palmer concluded.

The EPA is holding a four public hearings on its proposed carbon regulations in Washington DC, Altanta, Denver and Pittsburgh. An estimated 1600 people are expected to testify during the 11-hour sessions.

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