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Illinois passes coal ash cleanup bill; Tonko discusses carbon pricing options

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Illinois passes coal ash cleanup bill; Tonko discusses carbon pricing options

US House subcommittee head details pros, cons of federal carbon pricing options

During a May 28 climate-focused town hall, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., said establishing a federal carbon cap-and-trade program may be more effective than implementing a carbon tax.

Tonko, who heads the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, said he is trying to build a bipartisan consensus on the best way to advance potential climate legislation should a Democrat win the White House in 2020.

Lawmakers file bills to subsidize making steel industry fuel from coal sludge

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio reintroduced bills intended to encourage the steel industry to produce fuel from a substance the government designates as a hazardous waste.

The bills intend to entice steelmakers to make their own fuel by liquefying coal waste sludge, distributing it on metallurgical coal and then using the mixture to make coke for steelmaking, according to an explanation of the bill. The industry currently disposes of coal waste sludge by incinerating it off-site or putting it into a landfill.

Illinois lawmakers pass landmark coal ash cleanup bill

The Illinois General Assembly on May 27 passed a bill that would require coal-fired power plant operators to set aside money for the cleanup of leaking coal ash impoundments targeted by federal regulations. The legislation is now headed to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk for signature.

Senate Bill 9, dubbed the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act, directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to start a rulemaking process that requires power plant operators to safely dispose of coal ash or ensure that impoundments are properly enclosed.

Interior, union object to Westmoreland Resource Partners' bankruptcy plan

The U.S. Department of the Interior and the United Mine Workers of America both filed objections to Westmoreland Resource Partners LP's plan to liquidate.

The company, which served as the master limited partnership of now-defunct Westmoreland Coal Co., requested a 60-day extension to file its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.