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AIM calls for end to War on Coal

The Obama administration’s War on Coal continues.

Friday’s latest volley from the Environmental Protection Agency would require coal-burning utilities to use technologies not even available to capture 40 percent of their carbon-emissions. Even the EPA admits in its proposals that the standards would add 80 percent to the price of electricity generated in coal-fired generating plants.

“82 percent of Missouri’s electricity comes from coal-fired generating plants,” said Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty. “The EPA’s proposed rule will cause electricity bills to increase dramatically, not only for manufacturers, but for all Missouri residents. The implementation of this rule would be an economic disaster.”

Friday morning, Senator Roy Blunt took to the floor of the Senate chamber to decry the Obama administration’s latest attempt to end the use of coal as a fuel.

“Once again, President Obama is waging war on affordable energy for families and small businesses in states like Missouri,” said Blunt. “Nearly 40 million American families earning less than $30,000 a year spend almost 20 percent of their budgets on energy costs. By preventing the construction of new high efficiency coal plants, the Obama Administration is punishing our nation’s most vulnerable families who are hurt the most by higher utility bills.”

Sen. Blunt is sponsoring an amendment to the Senate energy bill mandating that the EPA establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) using emission rates based individually for each type of fuel and based on technology that is commercially available.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons in a statement issued Friday said President Obama “believes the only way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to eliminate fossil fuels from our economy and the regulations proposed by EPA today further this misguided vision.”

“The decisions the EPA makes in these regulations – such as mandating technologies that are not yet commercially feasible – will have far-reaching consequences not only on our energy supply, but also on the operations of all manufacturers,” said Timmons.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) says in a release Friday that the new EPA rules amount to a ban on the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

“Ironically, the EPA’s proposal could actually do long-term harm to the environment. By stopping the development of new coal plants, the EPA is halting the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies,” the ACCCE release said. “This misguided policy only adds insult to injury to an industry that has successfully used clean coal technologies to reduce many emissions by more than 90 percent.”

The new EPA rule is subject to a six month hearing period, and AIM’s McCarty says that may be the only ray of hope in the situation.

“Associated Industries of Missouri and it member employers call on all of the state’s members of congress to speak out and legislate if need be to stop what is becoming a ban on coal,” said McCarty. “We also encourage all Missouri citizens to support efforts to turn this ruinous policy around before we all become a casualty in this ‘war’ that is being waged on our own soil by a very aggressive Environmental Protection Agency.”

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