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(Apr 02, 2008) On December 12, 2007, the President of Germany promulgated the Act to Finance the Termination of Subsidized Coal Mining by 2018 (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 3086). The Act is the result of an agreement between the German Federal Government and the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, where the German hard coal mines are located. German hard coal is of high quality, but it is located at depths of more than 4,000 feet, thus making its recovery non-competitive under current world market prices. Under the Act, the Federal Government will contribute annual subsidies ranging from €1,699 million in 2009 (about US$2,675 million) to €794 million (about US$1,250 million) in 2019, to help with the cost of phasing out coal mining operations. In particular, the funds will be used to assist displaced miners and to finance the environmentally responsible shut-down of the mines.

The law calls for an evaluation of coal mining in 2012 to allow for its continuation in Germany should world market conditions change significantly. In Saarland, however, coal mining is in jeopardy of being terminated even earlier than planned due to a mining-induced earthquake that shook the region on February 23, 2008 (Small Earth Quake in Saarland, THE ECONOMIST, Business Section, Mar. 1, 2008, LEXIS/NEXIS, News Library, Zeitng file).

Author: Edith Palmer More by this author
Topic: Energy More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Germany More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/02/2008