Clobbering coal

The following editorial appeared in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Jan. 19:

In its latest assault on coal, the Obama administration has announced that it’s halting new coal mining leases on federal land, which account for about 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

In line with this, the Interior Department will study the environmental, public health and taxpayer aspects of the coal-leasing program, which is expected to take three years. The idea is to “overhaul” the coal-leasing program to account for — you guessed it — climate change, The Hill newspaper reports.

Never mind that the same science behind these energy-draining diktats acknowledges that even if the world stopped burning every lump of coal tomorrow, the effect on global temperatures would be miniscule.

The domestic outlook for coal is bad enough. “There seems to be no limit to the number of job-crushing regulations,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., where 80 percent of coal is mined on public lands.

Consider as well the eventual consequences for poorer nations that rely on affordable coal power generation.

Rather than cutting off coal, attention should focus on advancing clean-coal technology. Unfortunately, under the overly broad and deceptive banner of climate change, Team Obama is determined to keep these energy reserves in the ground.


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