Washington Post blasts mining group’s ads about coal rule

A mining group’s ad claiming that electricity prices will “nearly double” is bogus, The Washington Post said.

In a fact-checking item, the Post awarded the ad campaign from the National Mining Association (NMA) “four Pinocchios,” the newspaper’s designation for the worst factual errors.

The radio and print ad said electric bills will rise 80 percent due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal earlier this year to require carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) for all new power plants.

The NMA’s source was a February hearing in which Julio Friedmann, the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary, said CCS would increase the wholesale price of electricity 70 to 80 percent.

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Friedmann later clarified that the figure referred to a high level of carbon sequestration, much more than the EPA’s proposal would require.

“In other words, the ‘80 percent’ estimate had nothing to do with the EPA rule,” the Post said.

Additionally, Friedmann’s testimony only referred to wholesale prices from coal plants, which is only part of what goes into electricity bills.

The NMA defended its ads, saying the 80 percent figure was widely reported and attributed to Friedmann.

“The EPA’s proposed regulations, along with other factors, may boost the cost of electricity, but the NMA should not rely on such bogus, hyped evidence to make its case,” the Post concluded.