Egypt government approves use of coal power

Egypt's government has approved the use of coal to generate power amid a crippling fuel crisis, despite campaigning by environmentalists against it

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's government has approved the use of coal to generate power amid a crippling fuel crisis, despite campaigning by environmentalists against it.

The Cabinet said in a statement Wednesday that it will commit to environmental regulations and evaluations during the importing, transportation, storage and usage of coal. Environmentalists and tourism companies have been lobbying politicians and running ads against the importation of the highly polluting fuel, which was also opposed by the environment minister.

The country's powerful cement industry however wants to use coal to boost declining production and meet the demands of a construction boom. The industry minister had said coal could be used as early as September. Egypt faces a serious energy crunch, with rolling power cuts. Fuel products for private and industrial consumption are heavily subsidized.

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