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Coal association counters EPA

Ohio producers cite flawed data as reason to halt new regulations

February 21, 2010
From staff reports

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Coal Association is making a formal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's finding of endangerment resulting from greenhouse gases.

The coal association filed Feb. 12 for a reconsideration of the finding, questioning the validity of the underlying data given the recent disclosures about the use of climate data in studying the climate.

In addition, the association filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday.

The association is seeking the EPA to reconsider its finding and for the appellate judges to review the EPA's actions because of "the inevitable and severe harm it will inflict upon Ohio's coal industry," the association said in a press statement.

Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association said, "The EPA relied on the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which we now know was simply not credible. These were not scientists seeking the truth. This was an organization with a political agenda, intent on showing a pattern of global warming. The EPA has no choice but to go back to the drawing board, and find a legitimate, independent scientific research organization capable of collecting data and objectively analyzing it."

According to Carey, the EPA's current path regarding greenhouse gases would make the coal industry extinct.

"That would kill mining jobs and jobs across the American economy. Furthermore, the regulatory burden would also jeopardize the nation's goal of energy independence, threaten our national security and raise rates for the great majority of consumers who are dependent on low cost electricity supplied by coal-fired power plants."

The criticism of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, upon whose report the EPA has based its findings, came under fire beginning with the release of anonymously leaked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. The unit generated the data used by the U.N. panel in issuing its climate change report, which was used by the EPA in its greenhouse gas ruling.

The e-mails paint a picture of scientists destroying data, deleting e-mails, falsifying and exaggerating information and using flawed methods of analysis of climate data.

The coal association notes the issue is now subject to multiple investigations.

"We can not sit back and allow the EPA to take such drastic action, imposing new regulations that are certain to crush the coal industry in Ohio and throughout the United States, based upon biased and invalid science," said Carey.

The coal association notes Ohio has some of the lowest electric rates in the world because its coal-fired plants provide citizens with low-cost, reliable electricity. Nearly 90 percent of Ohio's electricity comes from coal, and coal provides more than half of the nation's electricity needs, the association notes.

Ohio's coal industry directly employs more than 3,000 individuals, and the association cites studies showing more than 30,000 spin-off jobs in mining areas across the state.

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