The Clean Coal Generation Act

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Act VI of Energize America

Contents

Objective

To ensure the implementation of clean-coal technologies to significantly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases during the generation of electricity.

Description

Coal is relatively cheap and extraordinarily abundant in the United States. At present, coal generates about half of America's electricity, with dozens of new plants being built across the country. For the next half-century, coal-burning power plants are currently planned to provide the primary source of electricity. Given coal's potentially devastating environmental damage, it is essential that we improve every aspect of our use of coal.

The Clean Coal Generation Act will: a) Outlaw mountain top removal that is denuding mountains and choking streams across Appalachia. Limit surface mining to areas where "return to contour" is the rule. Ban all dumping of spoil into waterways. b) Stop serial offenders by steeply increasing fines on failures to protect the environment. c) Allow easier prosecution of those who use "shadow companies" to evade environmental and safety regulations in the coal industry. d) Repeal the "Clear Skies Act" and return to the previously passed Clean Air Act provisions.

Coal-burning plants should no longer be allowed to expand under regulations that allow them to pollute the way they did 25 years ago. The act sets 2020 as the deadline for bringing all coal-burning plants into full compliance. Currently, electricity prices for consumers are driven by ‘last kilowatt’ costs, which typically come from natural gas at a price significantly higher than coal production costs absent the critical issue of GHG remediation. Coal companies will be encouraged to adopt and share environmental "best practices." Such practices reflect the need for this industry not to pollute or otherwise despoil our lands, the air we breathe or the water we drink, and will be implemented in a consistent way so as to ensure a level playing field for the industry. Failure to implement CO2 disposal will be met with levies on the electrical product so that it will be cheaper for coal-burning electricity producers to dispose of their CO2 than to continue releasing it into the atmosphere.

Benefits

The Clean Coal Generation Act ensures that America’s vast coal resources will be priced fairly, harvested wisely, processed safely and consumed prudently. Furthermore, this act preserves America’s landscape and keeps the American people safer from environmental destruction.

Investment

The Clean Coal Generation Act will have a regulatory cost estimated at $25 million per year.

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