The State of the Union address is tonight, and President Obama has made it clear that the substantive theme and priority for his administration will be growing the economy in short- and long-term. How we approach energy production will be a critical part our economic well-being, and it’s something we look forward to hearing from the President.
While members of Congress and the Obama administration will be offering ideas about how to grow our economy today and in the coming days, there are five things you and our elected officials should know about coal and how it can help our economy thrive.
- Coal Means Jobs: According to a study ACCCE commissioned last May, the deployment of advanced coal technologies would create or support more than 150,000 jobs nationally, and 1.7 million job-years of labor would be created through construction of those technologies. Another study conducted by researchers at Penn State found that U.S. coal production, transportation and consumption for electricity power generation contributes more than 6.8 million jobs – directly and indirectly – to America’s economy.
- Coal Means Lower Electricity Costs for Job Creators: Providing businesses with a reliable supply of affordable electricity is key to getting our economy back on track so that we can maintain existing jobs and create millions of new ones. The fact is that 4 of the 5 states with the lowest retail electricity costs rely upon coal to generate 80 percent or more of their electricity. The affordability and relative stability of coal prices means American businesses can keep people employed and provide affordable services to consumers.
- Coal Means Lower Electricity Costs for Families: For working families, less money spent on electricity bills means more money for other necessities. In 2009, over 60 million American households with annual incomes below $50,000 spent 22 percent of their after-tax income on energy-related costs. One of the primary advantages of using coal is its low cost – and fuel price is a major component in the cost of electricity. Coal’s affordability has helped limit these rising energy costs. And that has meant more money for child care, food and other family essentials.
- Coal Means More Energy Security: Coal can promote energy independence while keeping energy costs low. That’s because America has more reserves of recoverable coal within its borders than any other country, and coal provides almost half of America’s electricity generation over the past decade. The coal we rely upon is found right here at home, and we have more than a 200-year supply based upon today’s rate of usage.
- Coal Means More Benefits for Taxpayers: In a 2009 ACCCE-commissioned study, American taxpayers see a quick and significant return on federal investments in advanced coal technologies, gaining $13 in benefits for every dollar the government invests. The primary benefit: reduced electricity rates resulting from lower compliance costs as coal-generated plants deploy new technologies to meet air quality standards.
For more information on how coal and advanced coal technologies can create well-paying, sustainable jobs, click here.