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U.S. Coal Industry Fights Climate Legislation at Congressional Hearing

Under the shadow of the West Virginia coal mine disaster earlier this month, a congressional hearing Wednesday on the future of coal in a “new energy age” seemed at times like a dialogue of the deaf.

Four representatives of the coal industry appeared Wednesday before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in an atmosphere frosty enough to lower global temperatures itself.

Committee chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass) castigated the industry representatives for resisting measures to reduce carbon emissions and compared them to auto executives who ignored the need for change until it was too late.

Markey, who is co-author of a bill passed by the House to limit greenhouse gas emissions, urged the coal industry to get on board with the efforts to fight global warming.

“Today, with the future of the coal industry in your hands, I challenge you to join us in charting a new path forward to prevent a perilous outcome for your industry and for the planet,” Markey said in his opening remarks. “I ask that you cease efforts to deny the science of global warming and stop spending millions of dollars in misleading the public as to the true science behind climate change.”

Markey noted that the House bill offers billions of dollars in aid to help the industry develop clean coal technology.

Despite his pleas, Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, accused Congress and regulators of conducting a “war on coal” by imposing tougher limits on carbon emissions. He criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s “endangerment finding” about carbon dioxide emissions, which enable the regulator to take action without legislation.

“The Ohio Coal Association is challenging this endangerment finding in court, and we will win,” Carey said defiantly. “We believe that the science underpinning the endangerment finding is questionable.”

The industry wants Congress to forgo any further restrictions while it develops carbon capture and sequestration technology to reduce emissions from coal-fired electricity plants. However, they admit that commercial deployment of CCS, which is an untested technology, is a minimum of 15 to 20 years away.

Markey noted that coal’s share of electricity generation fell to 44% last year from 49%. New plants using wind or natural gas were started in 2009, but no new coal plants broker ground.

“While the rest of the energy world is already moving to a lower-carbon future, people wonder
whether the coal industry is stuck in another time,” Markey said, warning them that the industry was headed for “an inexorable decline.”

By. Darrell Delamaide

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Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on April 15 2010 said:
    I was at an important seminar/meeting on coal yesterday, which to begin was very interesting, and which informed the congregation that a lot of coal was going to be used in the future. I of course knew this, because there is too much energy in coal to give it the cold shoulder. The discussion though eventually turned to CCS, in which cap-and-trade was also mentioned. I was 15 months in Germany with the US Army, and since it was pretty much like a vacation I spent a lot of time trying to find out what it was like to be exposed to the nonsense of Joseph Goebbels and Co. Briefly, it must have been like the nonsense preached in that seminar, where I understood everything, and made it clear that I did and didn't agree, while many of the other participants also understood, but kept their lips buttoned. One way or another, there is eventually going to be some bad news on the coal front.
  • Anonymous on April 16 2010 said:
    Markey and the AGW crowd still cannot show a correlation between CO2 and temperature. This whole charade is not science but agenda politics intended to exert control over peoples lives and scam the public out of billions of dollars. Absolutely criminal.
  • Anonymous on April 16 2010 said:
    The CO2 as a pollutant fraud is going to be too hard to stop. Obama is fully aware of Climategate and the rest of the UN's IPCC fraudulent science. He is the first President that is knowingly accepting an out and out lie in exchange for the huge benefits the fraudlent carbon taxes is going to bring for government. The Cap and Trade and Carbon Taxes are just going to create extreme fuel poverty in the US and that is a recipe for disaster. Visit ClimateDepot.com to learn more about the global warming hoax, the precursor to carbon taxes.
  • Anonymous on April 16 2010 said:
    "The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."
    - Club of Rome,
    premier environmental think-tank,
    consultants to the United Nations

    "We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination... So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    lead author of many IPCC reports

    We need to understand the background to their green agenda:
  • Anonymous on April 16 2010 said:
    Markey and the rest of the Marxist dems want the rest of the United States to pay the same rates for power as New England, some 3 times that of the Midwestern electricity customers who purchase power generated by coal. The taxes generated by HB 2454 will be Trillions with a capital "T" - enough for health care and Cadillacs for all those that will vote for the idiots in Congress and the Obama administration perpetrating this scam on unwitting citizens. Let's use some good old American science generated by our experts and see where that takes us. I am sure it won't be to Washington or Copenahagen.
  • Anonymous on April 17 2010 said:
    The comments so far on the article about the House Select Committee quoting Rep. Markey are the most informed and intelligent that I have read in months. Maybe, just maybe, light is beginning to shine on the dark deeds of the AGW group. If we just wait a couple of years until the British are sitting in the dark, and the other EU countries are also struggling with power shortages and unreliable power the rest of the time, maybe the U.S. can avoid the pain. Somehow I can't believe that our environmental scaremonger groups and the politicians will wait to see this.
  • Anonymous on August 12 2010 said:
    Wow. It is quite embarrassing indeed to read the comments above. Barbara you sounds a little silly, I am sure the Europeans will be just fine, as will the Chinese. As those states innovate and diversify their energy portfolio's I think it will unfortunately be us Americans who are left in the dark (technologically speaking). In ten years time when we are far behind in renewable energy technologies we will thank the Europeans and Chinese for their fore-thought, and probably need to purchase the majority of energy related product/technologies from them. As we seem to be already, i.e. wind turbines etc/photovoltaics. Although somebody will tell me that GE are supplying the high-tech aspects of these products, the employment growth is seen in China where they are producing the majority of the components. Anyway, I think you see where I am going, as I ramble, I think the US is built on innovation rather than denial. You do all make me laugh though. Funny people.

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