The Texas Clean Energy Project is joining the list of clean coal technology plants working to change the way coal-fueled plants are run across the country. Earlier this month, San Antonio’s CPS Energy agreed to buy 200 MW of electricity from a federally supported clean coal plant outside of Midland-Odessa, Texas, upon its completion in 2015. The plant, known as the Texas Clean Energy Project, is capable of capturing incredibly high amounts of emissions, and when finished, will be the cleanest coal-fueled power plant in the world.
Using new advances in clean coal technology, DOE reports that TCEP plant will be capable of capturing about 90 percent of the carbon dioxide, 99 percent of the sulfur dioxide, 90 percent of the nitrogen oxide and 99 percent of the mercury it produces.
What’s even more interesting about this TCEP? The $2.4 billion plant will receive $450 million in funding from the Department’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.
In light of this project, it’s surprising that President Obama didn’t mention coal when calling for an “all-out, all-of-the-above” energy agenda during last week’s State of the Union. As the country’s most abundant natural resource, coal is the America’s dominant source of electricity. With projects like this one in Texas and the Turk Plant in Arkansas, it’s clear that coal should be included in the president’s strategy to move toward a clean energy future.
Last week, the America’s Power Facebook page polled fans to see what issue they’d like to see Congress tackle in 2012. The answer isn’t surprising: most said jobs and the economy.
The coal industry is responsible for more than half a million jobs across the country, including Americans working to develop and implement clean coal technology. A few months ago, we highlighted three ways that coal can help create and maintain American jobs.
Affordable Energy for Job Creators: Just ask any small business owner. The more affordable the electricity rates, the more flexible the budget. Meet Olivia Albright, a small business owner working with a tight budget. Olivia discusses how important low electricity rates are to her company, as it helps ensure the jobs of her employees, who “are like family.”
Coal’s Direct and Indirect Jobs: The coal mining industry is responsible for more than 550,000 U.S. jobs—including 154,000 direct jobs and 400,000 indirect jobs.
Advanced Coal Technology: According to a study ACCCE commissioned in 2010, deployment of clean coal technologies would create 150,000 jobs across 30 states, creating many high-skilled, high-wage American jobs.
WASHINGTON – In response to tonight’s State of the Union address by President Obama, President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity Steve Miller released the following statement:
The State of the Union address was most notable for what was left unsaid, namely any mention of coal – America’s dominant source of electricity – in the President’s plan for our nation’s energy future. It is inconceivable that we can reach our shared national goals of creating jobs, rebuilding U.S. manufacturing and keeping energy affordable for our families and businesses without domestically-produced coal playing a central role.
Tonight the President stated, “This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy— a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper and full of new jobs.” Coal is the centerpiece of that “all-of-the-above” national strategy. Coal is cleaner; with major emissions from coal-fueled power plants reduced almost 90 percent over the past 40 years. It is affordable and allows American families to meet their budgets and enables our businesses to be more competitive in the global economy. And the coal-fueled electricity industry is full of existing and new jobs in states across this country.
The reality is that the state of our union can only remain strong if we continue to depend on America’s fuel—coal—to power our future.
But over the past three years, President Obama’s policies have been inconsistent with Candidate Obama’s rhetoric. His regulations concerning electricity from coal could destroy more than a million jobs and subject families and businesses to higher energy prices. Just as we are clawing our way out of the Great Recession, states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia—which rely heavily on electricity from coal—will be particularly hard hit by the cost of these regulations.
America must make use of all our domestically-produced fuels to hold down prices, make our manufacturers more competitive and make our nation more energy secure. As the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness concluded this month, America needs to be “all in” on energy sources. But the Obama Administration’s policies amount to being “all out” on coal.
The President needs to honor the pledges he made during the 2008 campaign by reaffirming his commitment to affordable, reliable electricity that will power our nation—a commitment that can only be met with coal.
President Obama’s advisors have spoken: it’s time for an “all-in” (.pdf) energy solution to help get the economy going again. Relying on America’s abundant natural resources, including coal, would create thousands of jobs, provide stable power, and keep electricity rates affordable for Americans. It’s time to get the economy back on track. Join America’s Power to show your support for our country’s natural resources.
It’s no secret that coal is important to the American economy and energy sector. The coal industry is responsible for more than 550,000 jobs across the country—including the jobs of Americans who are working to develop and implement clean coal technology.
But still some critics argue we should simply flip the off switch on coal, without knowing the full consequences.
However, more and more people are seeing the importance of coal in the American energy portfolio. In a recent speech, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke of the importance of coal in America’s economy.
Now, some people’s response is to demand that we end all coal production now…Never mind that such a thing is simply not going to happen—there is no substitute now for metallurgical coal and if we stopped burning coal this afternoon and cut the power in the U.S. grid by 50 percent, as Mayor Bloomberg advocates, he’d be reading handwritten memos by candlelight this evening.
Trumka is right: with new and proposed regulations that would reduce our use of coal for electricity , Americans would experience job loss, an unreliable electric grid and increased electricity bills.
On a recent leg of her Missouri-wide energy tour, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill also spoke up about those looking to simply rid the country of coal:
Some regulation is important, but too much regulation is not what the doctor ordered, either…I just want us to do it in a reasonable and responsible way… We cannot convert to an all-solar or all-wind system in my lifetime. It is absolutely impossible. And the people who talk to about doing so are being irresponsible.
Like this post with the Facebook button above to show your friends you don’t want to turn off the lights on America.
In today’s economy, no energy option should be taken off the table. That’s why earlier this week, ACCCE released a statement as a reminder that the government should be helping Americans get back to work and not patting themselves on the back for regulations that will put more Americans out of work. These regulations threaten energy independence by forcing the retirement of power plants that use one of America’s most abundant natural resources: coal. The energy in America’s recoverable coal reserves is roughly equal to that of the world’s known oil reserves, and is the source for nearly half of America’s power.
One of the greatest strengths of our country’s energy portfolio is its diversity. Abandoning coal through unreasonable regulations or fuel switching strains other energy resources, and jeopardizes affordable electricity rates and the jobs they support.
It’s important for the country to have a balanced energy portfolio to ensure energy security and independence. Threatening this stability is no cause for celebration.
Millions of Americans rely on coal every day to power their hospitals and fire stations, but in the next few years, more and more Americans could be using electricity from coal to power something else: their vehicles.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is in Detroit today discussing the country’s future with electric vehicles. The increased number of EVs on the road is changing transportation in the country, including dramatically reducing imports of foreign energy sources, creating jobs in the U.S. and improving the environment.
Coal is essential in this vehicle revolution. In order to recharge and hit the road, these cars will need to be power by reliable, affordable sources of electricity. Coal can do just that.
Instead of running on foreign petroleum products, these cars can run on electricity generated from America’s most abundant resource: coal. In addition, energy for EVs can be produced by power plants using advanced coal technologies—achieving a smaller environmental footprint for both the transportation and electric power sectors.
Find out how EVs use electricity in this short clip from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Mike Duncan is the president and CEO for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the use of coal...
Read Full Biography +
Laura Sheehan Senior Vice President
Laura Sheehan is a seasoned public affairs expert with more than a 20-year track record in policy communications, media relations, crisis and issues management, community and...
Read Full Biography +
Darian Ghorbi Director
Darian Ghorbi is the Director of Policy Analysis at ACCCE. Prior to joining ACCCE, Darian spent five years working for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Read Full Biography +
Elizabeth Jennings Communications Specialist
Elizabeth Jennings is ACCCE’s Communications Specialist acting as an integral part of our communications team. She works to expand the reach of our message through traditional and new media platforms....
Read Full Biography +
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is committed to the idea that America can have the affordable, reliable electricity we need, with the clean environment we want. ACCCE’s Behind the Plug blog is the place for up-to-date news and analysis on clean coal technology developments and energy policy progress.
We encourage commenting and discussion on Behind the Plug, but we ask that you refrain from comments that are:
spam or hawking a product;
abusive, defamatory or obscene
fraudulent, deceptive or misleading;
in violation of any law or regulation; or
otherwise offensive (graphically or in tone).
Please note that ACCCE is not responsible for the accuracy of opinions, claims, advice or other information shared here by ACCCE fans.