Peabody Energy calls for low-carbon economy to battle U.S. electricity crisis

Peabody calls for plan for low-carbon economy
Peabody calls for plan for low-carbon economy | Courtesy of

CEO and Chairman of Peabody Energy Greg Boyce recently called on Congress and other U.S. leaders for a five-point plan that would both speed the transition and solve the electricity crisis in the U.S. with low-carbon economies.

"We can achieve our environmental goals,” Boyce said. “The key is to analyze the system holistically and set goals on a rational time frame. We should not mandate artificial carbon caps, carbon taxes or renewable mandates that will hurt people and cripple economies for negligible environmental benefit. We can all agree this proposal is ludicrous.”

Record-high electricity prices are harming the economy, businesses and families in the U.S. Solving the current electricity crisis requires that leaders accelerate the transition into the low-carbon economy and realign energy policy.

"As the administration attempts to lead the world toward a carbon treaty, we need to stop and take note of valuable lessons," Boyce said. "Jurisdictions like Australia, the European Union and Ontario, Canada, have tried such policies only to see their economies turned upside down."

As of today, more than 100 million Americans -- amounting to approximately one-third of the U.S. population -- meet the qualifications for energy assistance. An additional 45 million Americans are at or below the poverty level.

To date, 2014 marked the most expensive electricity year for U.S. residents, and high prices are continuing for 2015. Since 2000, U.S. electricity prices have risen by 53 percent. 

"All of us share the goals of a strong economy and healthy environment," Boyce said. "But there is a far better and more practical path. The solution comes in the form of clean coal technologies that can accelerate the transition toward a low-carbon energy future."

Boyce and others attribute the price increases to policy actions that force companies to take on renewable mandates, which force them to use electricity in its highest-cost form and stop the use of coal.

Wind and solar energy are so heavily subsidized that their 5 percent contribution to U.S. electricity has brought in more than $85 billion in incentives over the past 60 years.

"Advancing social and economic progress should be our overriding goals,” Boyce said. “We must put in place a technology path for long-term improvement in carbon emissions that will enable us to use more coal more cleanly delivering major results right now.”

The majority of the U.S. states oppose the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new Clean Power Plan, which could further harm the U.S. electricity industry and economy.

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