Continuing With Conventional Sources. Georgia Nelson, Midwest Generation EME, Chicago, Illinois 60605

There have been two significant policy trends in the past year regarding the use of coal to generate electricity. First -- influenced to a large degree by the California energy crisis and the volatility of natural gas prices -- policymakers have reaffirmed that a diverse fuel supply is essential to meeting demand and providing for stable prices, and that coal is a critical component of a diverse supply now and for decades to come. At the same time, policymakers have brought renewed focus to environmental issues associated with coal-fired generation and recognized that coal-fired power plants have made significant emissions reductions and can continue to do so. As future environmental regulations are considered, it is essential that they provide for long-term certainty and are developed in a comprehensive process which addresses health benefits, impact on supply, impact on consumer costs, impact on the competitive electricity generating business, available technology, and synergy between federal and state rules. We can and must continue to rely on coal as a major source of electricity, we can and must continue to rely on older coal-fired power plants, and we can and must continue to achieve emissions reductions that are demonstrated to be in the public interest.

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