German environmentalists say U.S. is shifting its pollution elsewhere

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By AP

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Updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:16:18 EST

LUENEN, Germany (AP) — Environmentalists in Germany say the United States is shifting the burden elsewhere, when it comes to reducing pollutants blamed for global warming.

Environmental regulations in the United States have pushed the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants into retirement, and few if any new coal plants are expected to be built. And over the past six years, the U.S. has cut its coal consumption by 195 million tons, as the power sector reduced carbon emissions by 12 percent.

But about 20 percent of that coal was shipped overseas. Germany is seeing a resurgence in coal-fired power, which the U.S. has increasingly helped supply. And even as the United States makes progress in reducing its own carbon dioxide emissions, Germany's emissions grew by 1.2 percent last year.

A spokesman for the German environmental group BUND says it's "a classic case of political greenwashing." Dirk Jansen says, "Obama pretties up his own climate balance, but it doesn't help the global climate at all if Obama's carbon dioxide is coming out of chimneys in Germany."

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APPHOTO WX504: ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014, AT 12:01 A.M. AND THEREAFTER - The Trianel power plant is pictured in Luenen, Germany, Thursday, July 24, 2014. The 750-megawatt power plant relies completely on coal imports, about half from the U.S. Soon, all of Germany's coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country scheduled to halt all coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) (24 Jul 2014)

<<APPHOTO WX504 (07/24/14)££

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