Just hours before President Obama is set to deliver his major speech on global warming, the Washington Post publishes a news story explaining that "to a large extent" the president is in fact waging "a war on coal":
Daniel P. Schrag, who directs Harvard University’s Center for the Environment as serves as one of the administration’s scientific adviser, set off a firestorm Tuesday when The New York Times quoted him saying “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed” to address global warming.
Is President Obama–who will make amajor climate address Tuesday– pursuing “a war on coal,” as Republicans and coal industry officials frequently charge? To a large extent, the answer is yes.
While the administration is a strong booster of natural gas–which has roughly half the carbon emissions of coal, and has sparked both a manufacturing and employment revival in several regions of the country–it has pursued a string of policies making it more costly for businesses to extract and burn coal. While Obama’s announcement to regulate existing power plants is the latest example of how the Environmental Protection Agency is tightening regulations on coal burning, the EPA has already imposed stricter limits on mercury and other air toxins as well as soot, both of which come from coal-fired power plants. On top of that, the EPA has made it harder for firms to dump waste from mountaintop mining into nearby streams and valleys.
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