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EPA Is Inviting Coloradoans to Participate in One of 11 "Listening Sessions"

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Core Tip: This week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting Coloradoans to participate in one of 11 "listening sessions" that the agency is conducting around the country to

This week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting Coloradoans to participate in one of 11 "listening sessions" that the agency is conducting around the country to solicit ideas about the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

These sessions will provide members of the public and other stakeholders in Colorado with the opportunity to help shape the policies that will determine the state's energy future. Because coal provides 65 percent of Colorado's electricity, the input produced by these meetings could have a profound impact on the cost of electricity for homes and businesses across Colorado and throughout the nation.

"Coal plays an important role in providing Colorado with an affordable and reliable supply of energy," Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, said. "Coal based power plants provide affordable electricity that benefits homes and businesses alike.  New coal power plants using 'best in class' technologies available today provide the best opportunity to reduce emissions.   It is important for Colorado to continue to enjoy a reliable supply of affordable electricity by preserving the state's attractive energy mix."

Coal mining is in integral part of Colorado's economy. In 2011, regional coal-mining activities supported 23,700 jobs in Colorado and contributed $2.77 billion in direct and indirect economic contributions to the state.   Mine wages and benefits in Colorado top $115,000 annually, while the industry pays millions of dollars in royalties and taxes that support public schools and important governmental functions.

"The outcome of these listening sessions is critically important," said Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association. "Thoughtful policies for existing power plants are needed, that support a diverse energy mix and which serve the public best. Flexibility is important," he added, "because each state's energy mix and energy needs are different.  In Colorado and elsewhere throughout the nation it would be foolish to diminish the role of a plentiful resource like coal in our energy mix just as new technologies allow us to use it to generate electricity in way that addresses America's economic and environmental interests in a balanced fashion."

The listening sessions will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 9:00a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MDT, US EPA Region 8 Offices, 1595 Wynkoop St., Denver.

Fact sheets about coal mining in Colorado and the contributions to the state are available here and here.

The National Mining Association (NMA) is the voice of the American mining industry in Washington, D.C. Membership includes more than 325 corporations involved in all aspects of coal and solid minerals production including coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, mineral processors, equipment manufacturers, state mining associations, bulk transporters, engineering firms, consultants, financial institutions and other companies that supply goods and services to the mining industry.

Keyword: Mining, Coal mining
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