Peabody Energy urges withdrawal of power plant carbon proposal; calls for broad technology deployment

July 29, 2014

Peabody Energy called for withdrawal of the proposed carbon rule for existing power plants and for greater deployment of technology as the long-term solution to improve emissions, during testimony at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing in Washington, D.C. Peabody also offered testimony in Denver, CO on July 29.

"Using coal for electricity enables people to live longer and better and drives the lowest U.S. electricity costs for any major fuel," said Fredrick D. Palmer, senior vice president of government relations for Peabody Energy, at the Washington, D.C. hearing. "This proposal would endanger human health and welfare by making electricity – one of life's necessities – scarce and expensive."

"The real endangerment finding is the harm the administration's rule will have on Americans – particularly the poor, the working class, the elderly, minorities, small businesses, manufacturing, those grappling with health care or healthy food costs, and a fledgling economy that should be growing jobs at far faster rates," Palmer said.

Access to clean, affordable energy is essential at a time when a record 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance and 48 million Americans live in poverty.

"We are opposed to any proposal that would punish electricity consumers, harm America's poor and have no material benefit under climate theory. The EPA's proposal is also questionable from a legal standpoint and faces enormous opposition from Congress, states, business, industry, labor and others."

"Everyone deserves access to low-cost electricity, and everyone seeks emission improvements," said Palmer. "Technology, not caps and taxes, is the key to long-term improvement in carbon emissions."

Peabody proposes a better path that calls for investing in efficiency improvements; deploying advanced supercritical coal plants and supporting greater research and development toward next generation technologies, including carbon capture and storage. U.S. coal used for electricity has tripled since 1970 as key emissions rates have declined 90 percent, Palmer said. "Greater deployment of advanced technologies will continue this progress," Palmer said.

"More and more nations are pushing back against harmful carbon policies," Palmer said.

Australia's Prime Minister called the former carbon tax a "useless, destructive tax, which damaged jobs, hurt families' cost of living and didn't actually help the environment." Japan has stepped up support for coal-fueled power plants both domestically and overseas, and Europe's renewable strategy is being pared back as the continent is threatened by Russia's energy security challenge.

"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 said.

To read the full testimony click here .


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