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Associated Press, Published February 02 2011

Conrad backs two-year ban of EPA regulations

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad has endorsed a bill that would suspend the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases for two years.

Conrad said the measure would help protect North Dakota’s coal industry.

The legislation directs that the EPA could not regulate carbon dioxide or methane under the Clean Air Act, except for motor vehicle emission standards.

That would give Congress two years to write and pass “common-sense” energy legislation for coal’s continued use, Conrad’s office said.

“It is in both our economic and national security interests to more fully utilize domestic sources of energy. Clearly coal will continue to play a key role in that effort,” Conrad said in a statement. “That means we need to support – not hinder – the coal industry’s efforts to produce energy in an environmentally conscious way.”

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