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The Phony War on Obama's Plan to Curtail Coal-Fired Power

Peabody Energy's Gateway near Coulterville, Illinois
Peabody Energy's Gateway near Coulterville, IllinoisPhotograph by Seth Perlman/AP Photo

Business interests are up in arms over President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency proposal released on Monday calls for reductions in carbon dioxide pollutants of 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. The goal: Slow climate change while reducing death and illness related to terrestrial air contamination.

It’s a “war on coal!” declared Republican Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate minority leader from Kentucky, echoing a theme sounded loudly by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other well-funded business interests. The EPA “is introducing sweeping coal plant regulations that will drive up the cost of power,” Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, says on its website. The National Mining Association claims the proposal threatens energy grid reliability. “These regulations, if finalized, would be a loss for American consumers, manufacturers and businesses nationwide, but especially for those in states that rely on low cost electricity from coal,” the trade group said.