Industry group CEO blasts Obama's opposition to coal
Washington (Platts)--25Feb2013/345 pm EST/2045 GMT
The head of a powerful industry group blasted President Barack Obama's
perceived opposition to coal and his support of environmental regulations
that he said have caused more than 200 coal-fired plants to shut down,
accounting for a loss of roughly 38,000 MW.
Robert "Mike" Duncan, president and CEO of the American Coalition for
Clean Coal Electricity, said that new greenhouse gas regulations at the
Environmental Protection Agency were shutting plants and costing American
"Today we have unelected bureaucrats at the EPA who have been
overreaching in their powers and making it very difficult for baseline
electricity, such as coal, to produce in this country," Duncan said on
Sunday's edition of Platts Energy Week.
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Duncan criticized Obama's support for climate change action in his
recent State of the Union address, which he said ignores market realities, and
his calls for advances in energy efficiency, clean energy and energy
independence without a mention of coal.
"This is a pattern that's occurring," Duncan said. "He specifically
omits coal and that's very disappointing."
Duncan, who was named president of the coal group in August, is the
former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority and a former chairman of
American Crossroads, a Republican fundraising group founded by former
Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and former White House
strategist Karl Rove.
Duncan said that EPA regulations, along with high costs and low natural
gas prices, are hurting advances in new energy technology, particularly
"I would have liked to have moved faster on that, but we have
disincentives in our government," he said.
Coal plants want to improve efficiency but, Duncan said, are required to
meet "impossible standards," he said.
"We can solve this problem if the EPA would work with the industry," he
PROPOSAL PUTS FOCUS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Kateri Callahan, president of Alliance to Save Energy, and Alex Laskey,
president of Opower, a company that helps consumers pinpoint wasteful energy
practices, discussed a proposal to double energy productivity by 2030.
Callahan said the effort would need a mix of federal dollars to states,
new capital, modernizing the utility grid and transportation grid and more
Laskey said that 57% of energy that enters the US economy is wasted and
"There are huge opportunities for us to improve energy productivity in
the country," Laskey said.
CONCERNS MORE DIVERSE AT THIS YEAR'S PLATTS OIL FORUM
During the show, Platts Associate Editorial Director Maurice Geller
discussed the Platts Oil Forum in London, which served as a kickoff to
International Petroleum Week.
"Last year sentiment was dominated by economics and geopolitics," Geller
said. "While still factors, this year's views were more mixed, more nuanced."
Also, Platts Associate Editorial Director Robert Sharp discussed recent
increases in gasoline prices, which he tied to increases in crude oil
benchmarks and declines in production.
Platts Energy Week airs on Sundays in Washington on WUSA, a CBS
affiliate, and in Houston on KUHT, a PBS affiliate, as well as on other PBS
stations in the US. The program is also available on the web at
--Brian Scheid, email@example.com
--Edited by Jason Lindquist, firstname.lastname@example.org