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The Hypocrisy of the U.S. Climate Policy: Profiting From Coal

Joby Warrick, in The Washington Post, writes about the U.S. coal export policy using coal from the Powder River Basin, the energy-rich region that spans northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, “nearly all of it owned by the U.S. taxpayer.” “The Obama administration is seeking to curb the United States’ appetite for the basin’s coal … Yet each year, nearly half a billion tons of this U.S.-owned fuel are hauled from the region’s vast strip mines and millions of tons are shipped overseas for other countries to burn. Government and industry reports predict a surge in exports of Powder River coal over the next decade, at a time when climate experts are warning of an urgent need to reduce coal burning to prevent global temperatures from soaring.” “Each shipment highlights what critics describe as a hypocrisy underlying U.S. climate policy: While boasting of pollution cuts at home, the United States is facilitating the sale of large quantities of government-owned coal abroad.” And “the government continues issuing new leases for Powder River coal, in ever greater quantities. The Interior Department is finalizing leases for 2.5 billion tons of Powder River coal, and agency documents released earlier this year propose making an additional 10 billion tons available for mining — and, potentially exporting — over the next 25 to 30 years.”
Topics: wonk-wire