Coal Age

OCT-NOV 2017

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2016 2 May editor's note The Sunset for Sue-and-Settle Litigation C oal Age receives hundreds of press releases every month and sorting through them is normally a mundane task, as few pertain directly to coal mining and processing. More recently, however, there has been noticeable change in those issued by the environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The names of these environmental activists are famil- iar: National Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, etc. The main- stream media considers these groups legitimate sources, but it's mostly rubbish and filed accordingly. Since they lost their boardroom seats at the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA), these NGOs have been crying the blues. It's enough to make a depressed coal miner smile. The situation has become so dire that New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg po- nied up an additional $64 million for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign and its allies last month. Yes, this guy wrote a sizable check to put you out of business. If the Sierra Club hopes to complete Beyond Coal's mission of transitioning the entire country from coal completely to clean energy, they are going to need every penny. They claim responsibility for closing more than half of the existing coal-fired power plants in the past few years, but few realize the strategy relied on a coordinat- ed ground assault with attorneys rather than public information. The EPA and utility commissions were ill prepared to defend against these types of legal maneuvers and litigation, and they paid dearly for it. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt knows how these groups operate, and the rules are about to change. Fulfilling a promise to end the practice of regulation through litigation, he issued an agency-wide directive designed to end "sue and settle" prac- tices. "We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and set- tlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Con- gress," Pruitt said. "Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thou- sands of dollars in attorney's fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle." With the directive, Pruitt wants to ensure the EPA increases transparency, im- proves public engagement, and provides accountability to the American public. It calls for the timely publication of intents as well as complaints or petitions for review regarding environmental regulations. The directive also includes any states and/or regulated entities affected by potential settlements or consent decrees. The agency will no longer pay attorney's fees and litigation costs when settling with those suing the agency. The NGO's will have to use Bloomberg's money to pay for its attorneys, who are advancing their agenda. Common sense has prevailed at the EPA and environmen- tal tort reform has arrived. Unfortunately, most Americans do not realize how envi- ronmental policy was crafted behind closed doors during the Obama era and now they will not likely know how much money Pruitt has saved them by leveling the playing field. Coal Age, Volume 122, Issue 8, (ISSN 1040-7820) is published monthly ex- cept January, June and November, by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, Florida 32224 (mining-media. com). Periodicals postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Email: circu- Current and back issues and additional re- sources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calendar, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscrib- ers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year, $56.00, 2 year, $96.00, 3 year, $162.00, Student, $16.00, Outside the USA and Canada, 1 year, $77.00, 2 year, $137.00, 3 year, $225.00 surface mail (1 year, $145.00, 2 year, $257.00 airmail delivery). For sub- scriber services or to order single copies, write to Coal Age, 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; call +1.904.721.2925 (USA) or visit ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. For mi- croform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734.761.4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Coal Age, P.O. Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-0828 USA. REPRINTS: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clear- ance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. Obtain further information at COPYRIGHT 2017: Coal Age, incorporating Coal and Coal Mining & Processing. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief BY STEVE FISCOR PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mining Media International, Inc. 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306 Jacksonville, Florida 32224 U.S.A. Phone: +1.904.721.2925 Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-in-Chief—Steve Fiscor, Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, European Editor—Simon Walker, Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, Western U.S., Canada & Australia—Frank Strazzulla, Scandinavia, UK and European Sales—Colm Barry, Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, Show Manager— Michael Schoppenhorst, Production Manager—Dan Fitts,

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