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Coal regulations will hurt Montana economy

2013-08-05T00:00:00Z 2013-08-05T09:24:05Z Coal regulations will hurt Montana economy The Billings Gazette
August 05, 2013 12:00 am

President Obama recently directed that heavy additional regulations be placed on emissions from coal burning power plants and other similar facilities. His motivation is protecting the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, referring to "global warming" concerns expressed by environmentalists and politicians. He was also creating incentive for energy users to move to expensive renewable energy sources.

These arbitrary added regulations will significantly impact the economy of Montana, increasing the cost of electricity from coal fired power plants in Montana as well as elsewhere in the country, reducing the demand for coal as these plants move away from coal, thus reducing employment at coal producing sources.

The facts are that the United States and Montana have lots of low cost clean coal and relatively clean burning facilities, and the facts are that carbon dioxide emissions are not a threat to "global warming." Very credible scientific sources prove that carbon dioxide is only 3.8 percent of the atmosphere, that atmospheric warmth is caused 95 percent by atmospheric water vapor and 3.6 percent by carbon dioxide (less than one tenth of which is man made). Further, an increase of carbon dioxide to 4.2 percent would increase earth temperature by less than 0.1 degree F. These numbers are insignificant compared to the natural variability that occurs in atmospheric temperature, primarily as a result of solar flares and water vapor variation. Average atmospheric temperature has actually decreased slightly over the last 10 years, even as carbon dioxide has increased slightly.

It is important for our voters and politicians to know these facts and influence the administration to stop making arbitrary rulings that heavily negatively impact our economy.

Sterling V. Starr


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