Tomorrow: Let Your Voice Be Heard on the Future of Coal

Posted by Laura Sheehan at 10:46 am, May 08, 2014

Tomorrow, Friday May 9th, is the last and final day that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting comments on its proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for coal- and gas-fueled power plants. Once the comment period ends, the debate will certainly continue on this stringent and unprecedented regulation; but the end of the comment period also means that EPA will begin writing its final rule, making your input during the home stretch all the more critical.

In September 2013, the proposed rule for new coal-based power plants was released to cheers from environmentalists and extreme concern on the part of the coal industry, advocates of clean coal technology and consumers. NSPS, as proposed, will place a de facto ban on any new coal-fueled power plant in the United States, effectively halting development of cleaner coal technologies in their tracks. It will also hamper America’s leadership on building advanced new power plants that use our nation’s most abundant energy resource, coal, to generate low-cost electricity.

Since the rule’s initial release, we have seen an outpouring of support from a broad array of stakeholders across the nation. Consumers and businesses know that advanced coal-based power plants are critical to our nation’s energy supply now and will continue to hold the key to a secure energy future.

Advocates for cleaner, more advanced technologies to limit emissions from coal-based power plants have also lamented the rule’s stringent guidelines that require the use of a technology that is far from ready. The regulation would require new power plants to use carbon capture and storage, a process that is in the early stages of development and has not been put to use on a commercial scale. We are continuing to learn about and develop this technology, but experts and industry leaders agree it is not yet ready for “primetime.”

And to make matters worse, we are bracing for the next round of EPA regulations for existing coal-based power plants, set to be released on or before June 1st. Just yesterday, the National Mining Association released an eye-opening poll, which found that 76 percent of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that new EPA regulations will lead directly to higher energy costs.

Coal is our nation’s most affordable, reliable source of electricity, and we must ensure that overreaching EPA regulations do not rob us of this valuable resource, costing us all higher electricity bills, lost jobs and unreliable power in the process. That is why it is so important that we make our voices heard over the next 36 hours before EPA closes the door on discussion of this important issue.

Visit today to join us and tell the EPA to protect our economic and energy future.

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