Carbon rethink needed: Peabody

IN THE wake of US President Barack Obama’s climate change-themed State of the Union address, Peabody Energy has urged the government to rethink its carbon policies to halt further impacts from rising energy costs.
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Blair Price

“Coal is the nation's lowest cost and most abundant energy resource,” Peabody said.

“This past year, coal generation rebounded 5% due to its lower costs, while gas generation fell 11%.

“Affordable energy access is especially important at a time when a record 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance, 48 million Americans suffer in poverty and more than half of Americans have said a $US20 increase in their utility bills would create hardship.

“Peabody also encourages the administration to rethink its plan around carbon to avoid policies that will further drive up energy costs and create a regressive tax that will hurt those with low and fixed incomes the most.”

The coal miner also linked improved living standards to cheaper, coal-fired energy.

“The United States should join leading nations such as Japan and Australia in recognising the importance of low-cost electricity and the punishing effects of flawed carbon targets on families, businesses and the economy,” Peabody said.

“The US carbon-based economy also benefits dramatically from coal, which fuels both the essentials and conveniences of modern society, improving health, longevity and quality of life.

“A recent study on the social cost of carbon concludes that the benefits from fossil fuel energy outweigh the so-called cost of carbon by a magnitude of 50 to 500 times, based on empirical data, not modelled predictions.”