US coal industry reacts to decision to leave Paris Climate Agreement

June 5, 2017

On June 1, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Trump administration argued that the Paris Agreement that was signed by 196 countries was unfair to the United States. Many world leaders and some business leaders in the United States were critical of decision to pull away from the agreement, but the President did get a lot of support from the U.S. coal industry.

ADC News reported that four of the five largest coal producer companies in the United States supported Trump's move, citing their belief that remaining in the Paris Agreement would have impacted the U.S. economy negatively.

“We believe that abiding by the accord, without significant changes, would have substantially impacted the U.S. economy, increased electricity costs and required the power sector to rely on less diverse and more intermittent energy,” Peabody Energy Corp, the largest coal producer in the United States, said in a statement.

“Peabody continues to advocate for greater use of technology to meet the world’s need for energy security, economic growth and energy solutions through high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fueled power plants and research and development funding for carbon capture.”

The second biggest coal producer in the U.S., Arch Coal, said the president is a “tremendous advocate for coal and its essential role in America’s future energy mix, and we support the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

Cloud Peak Energy, based in Wyoming, argued that the Obama administration's pledge as part of the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 were in “need of major amendment.”

“The Obama administration’s unilaterally imposed CO2 emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement, adopted without congressional approval, were in need of major amendment. Cloud Peak Energy supported action to undo the economic harm they would have caused. Leaving the agreement is one way to do so,” Rick Curtsinger, a spokesman for Cloud Peak Energy, said in a statement provided to ABC News.
The Ohio company Murray Energy Corporation said in a statement that its employees, management and ownership are “extremely pleased” with Trump's decision.

“We applaud President Trump’s steadfast leadership, and his delivery on this important campaign commitment,” CEO and chairman Robert E. Murray said in a statement.

“Murray Energy has always supported complete withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord...,” Murray continued. "In following through on his promise, President Trump is supporting America’s uncompromising values, saving coal jobs, and promoting low-cost, reliable electricity for Americans and the rest of the World."

According to the most recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. coal production in 2015 dropped over 10 percent and the average number of coal mine employees dropped by 12 percent, the lowest on record since the agency started collecting data in 1978.



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