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Lawmakers aim to help coal future; Md. governor to pass renewable bill into law


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Lawmakers aim to help coal future; Md. governor to pass renewable bill into law

'Save some room for coal': State lawmakers discuss ways to help endangered fuel

A group of pro-coal lawmakers looking for ways to support and strengthen the future of coal are pushing innovation, government support and appeals to local employment concerns.

U.S. coal consumption and production patterns point to a mature and declining industry, but the sector is trying to revive itself by pivoting to research and development of new technologies and policies that favor coal generators. The federal government and officials with the U.S. Department of Energy, in particular, have repeatedly indicated support for such research and policy interventions but so far have not moved the needle on shrinking domestic coal demand.

Md. governor to let 'flawed' 50%-by-2030 renewable bill become law

Despite his criticism of the idea, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will not attempt to stop a bill from becoming law that would require the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

The Republican governor sent a letter dated May 22 to state Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller Jr. stating his intention to let Senate Bill 516 become law without his signature. Hogan also said he would work on a plan for Maryland to get all of its electricity from clean sources by 2040.

Interior says lifting coal leasing moratorium did not affect emission levels

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management concluded that the Trump administration's lifting of the federal coal lease moratorium did not change the cumulative levels of greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal mined from public lands.

The bureau released a draft environmental assessment for public comment May 22 after a federal court ruled in April that the administration ended the Obama-era moratorium on new federal coal leases in 2017 without conducting adequate environmental impact studies required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

CEOs descend on Capitol Hill to talk carbon pricing, admit goal is long shot

The heads of roughly 75 companies descended on Washington to press for the adoption of a federal price on carbon, but several of them acknowledged in a press briefing that the prospects of this Congress passing such legislation is unlikely.

The lobbying effort, organized by climate advocacy group Ceres, comes as a growing number of energy and other companies are pressing for federal action on climate change.

US EPA chief directs agency to issue new rules for cost-benefit analyses

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler instructed officials in four key offices to issue new rules for the way the agency calculates the costs and benefits of environmental regulations.

In a recent memo, Wheeler directed assistant administrators in the EPA's air, chemical, land and water offices to undertake notice-and-comment rulemakings that "outline how benefit-cost considerations will be applied in areas that are in need of greater clarity, transparency and consistency."