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Monday, November 23, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: What's unfair to residents of coal-dependent states?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Politicians in both parties have complained that proposed federal
climate change bills are "unfair" to Midwestern states, which rely
largely on coal to generate electricity. Utility companies and
corporate groups have tried to reinvent themselves as defenders of the
public interest against those who would unjustly "punish" consumers
living in coal-dependent states. Physicians for Social Responsibility
released a report this week on "Coal's Assault on Human Health." This
report should be required reading for all members of Congress,
especially Senator Tom Harkin and other Democrats who have demanded
more subsidies for coal-burning utilities in the climate-change bill.
... It's clear that coal-fired power plants extract a huge toll on
public health. Creating financial incentives to move away from coal as
a source of electricity isn't "unfair," especially since low-income
Americans could receive increased subsidies for utility bills.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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