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ACCCE Statement Regarding the Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- ACCCE supports the timely adoption of a mandatory federal carbon management program. In that regard, we welcome the policy debate that will follow today's release of Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey's discussion draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

ACCCE believes that we can fashion a national greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy that 1) achieves emissions reductions, 2) creates jobs, 3) preserves fuel diversity as a means of promoting greater energy independence, and 4) focuses on driving down compliance costs as a means of protecting consumers against unnecessarily higher energy costs. This is the over-arching standard by which ACCCE will judge all legislative proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we also believe that is how the American public will ultimately judge policy development in this area.

To that end, we are encouraged that the discussion draft focuses on the key role that coal plays in meeting growing U.S. electricity needs. America has more energy in the form of coal than OPEC has oil, and coal currently accounts for about half of the electricity consumed in the U.S. each day. As U.S. electricity grows (projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration), coal use both here in the U.S. and around the world will also increase. Electricity produced by coal is also a low-cost energy option for American businesses and families - providing reliable electricity at one-third the cost of other fuels. And, at a time when America's economy needs a boost and consumers are struggling to make ends meet, a policy that ensures we keep low-cost energy options, like coal, squarely in the mix must be a priority for policy makers. And finally, without question, technology has, to date, made coal a cleaner energy option. Since 1970, the use of coal to generate electricity in the U.S. has nearly tripled, while emissions of criteria pollutants and other emissions regulated by federal clean air act laws have been cut by more than 70%. Going forward, the same evolution of technology that has already changed the way we use coal to generate electricity will also produce new processes that capture and safely store CO2. These new technologies will be used both here in the U.S. and around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even as the use of coal to meet world electricity demand continues to grow - a point that we are pleased that the discussion draft addresses.

Additionally, Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey have correctly noted the importance of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies in meeting long-term emissions reduction goals. As noted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and other think tanks and academic institutions - CCS technologies are essential in meeting the goal of reducing greenhouse gases on a global scale.

Given that the 648-page discussion draft is a comprehensive bill covering many different facets of the ongoing energy and environmental policy dialogue, we will take the coming days to compare this proposal with the federal climate change policy principles we released over a year ago. ACCCE is committed to continuing discussions with Chairman Waxman, Chairman Markey, other members of key House committees, their Senate colleagues, and representatives of the Obama Administration to develop policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that also create jobs, promote greater energy independence, and ensure economic prosperity by helping keep the cost of energy affordable for American businesses and families.

About ACCCE

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal. Because coal is America's most abundant energy resource, ACCCE supports energy policies that balance coal's vital role in meeting our country's growing need for affordable and reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment. ACCCE also advocates for the development and deployment of advanced clean coal technologies that will produce electricity with near-zero emissions. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA. For more information, visit www.cleancoalusa.org or www.americaspower.org

SOURCE American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

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