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In December last year, the EPAs endangerment ruling on CO2 meant that if we did not have immediate Congressional action on greenhouse gases (GHG), we would have the EPA moving forward to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act. With WaxmanMarkey stalled in the Senate, the EPA started to do just that and, as of January this year, large emitters are required to collect data on, and report on, their GHG emissions. However, there are many arguments being raised over the fact that the Clean Air Act was meant to deal with smaller point source emissions. It was never intended to deal with the far-reaching implications of trying to regulate a gas we exhale after each breath. The EPA attempted to address those arguments by “tailoring” the CAA reporting requirements. Or applying those requirements in creative – many are saying “illegal” – ways to avoid having to apply the CAA to every source of GHG emissions; every automobile, lawnmower, and weed whacker in the country. In response to the tailoring, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced an amendment in January that would bar the EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG emissions. That amendment is not expected to go anywhere,

but given the questions and concerns over the EPA’s creative reworking of the CAA, the litigation and political pressure to move in another direction is just getting started. Moving on, the EPA has also taken a serious look at regulating coal ash as a “toxic” or “hazardous” material. This move is in response to special interest pressure after the TVA ash spill. However, it ignores the basic science which shows that leaching from ash is a minute issue, if it is an issue at all. Repeated rulings by EPA and other government agencies have clearly stated that coal ash is not toxic. The proposed regulation also ignores the issues discussed in our recently released 2010 Coal Ash Economic Assessment, including the fact that these regulations could raise the price of land filling ash from $10 - $150/ton. These price increases and “green tape” would effectively kill the recycling industry and some $6 $11 billion/yr in economic benefits. When customers realize this will mean green building products will become less “green” and a great deal more expensive, there will be further pushback. There have been increased pressures put on the industry; there’s no getting around that fact. Regulation, fuel switching, and

international market pressures are all potential “game changers” that impact the way we do business. Additionally, special interests continue to pressure our industry in the media and the government. But those challenges are not a game ender. While pressure is being applied, the efforts of the ACC, as well as other energy- and coal-related associations are showing success. The current government has recently been widely quoted as supporting the development of clean coal technologies as well as the construction of 10 new commercial demonstration plants for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in the next six years. Additionally, several new clean coal generation stations are being built, using efficient generation process like super-critical combustion and integrated gasification combined cycle. While we work in a dynamic and everchanging market, the one reality that remains is that our country was built and continues to operate on affordable, abundant/secure, and clean electricity. Without coal, we may manage “clean,” but our energy will be neither affordable, nor abundant. With coal in the mix, we can readily achieve all three.  u



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Murray Energy Corporation

“Rely on our companies for dependable, low-cost coal supplies.” 29325 Chagrin Boulevard, Suite 300 Pepper Pike, Ohio 44122 Phone: 216-765-1240 4

F Mr. Robert E. Murray – Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer For coal pricing and availability, please contact: Mr. B.J. Cornelius, President The American Coal Sales Company 101 Prosperous Place, Suite 125 Lexington, Kentucky 40509 Phone: (859) 543-9220 Fax: (859) 543-1720 american coal council

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Profile for American Coal Council

American Coal Issue 1 2010  

American Coal Issue 1 2010