Archive for February, 2012

ACCCE President Miller to Retire

Will Depart After 17 Years at Helm

WASHINGTON – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity announced today that its President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen L. Miller, will retire later this year, after more than 17 years as head of the organization.

Miller has served as the organization’s only full-time president and CEO since its creation.  During his tenure, ACCCE has significantly expanded its responsibilities.  Originally, the organization engaged solely in government relations on behalf of the coal-fueled electricity industry at the regional, state and local levels.  ACCCE now also carries out its mission through federal governmental relations, policy analysis and development, as well as an integrated, national communications campaign.  In 2010, the American Association of Independent Political Consultants recognized ACCCE as national “Grand Marketer of the Year” in the policy category.

“For the past 17 years, Steve Miller has done an outstanding job in leading ACCCE and articulating the importance of coal as a primary source of reliable, affordable energy in the United States.  Everyone associated with ACCCE thanks Steve for his service and wishes him well in the future,” said Norfolk Southern Railway CEO and ACCCE Board Chair Wick Moorman.  “The ACCCE board will conduct a thorough search to find the right candidate to serve as ACCCE’s next president and CEO.”

“I have been proud to lead ACCCE as we have taken our message to policymakers and the American people that coal—our nation’s most abundant domestically-produced fuel—must play a vital role in our energy future,” Miller said. “I have been blessed to have the strong support of our members and outstanding contributions from my staff colleagues through the years.  I am committed to working with the Board and my successor to ensure a seamless transition.”

Who Do You Trust on American Energy Security?

We recently polled Facebook users to ask a question that’s been on American minds lately: Which presidential candidate do you trust most to protect America’s national energy security? Over 3,600 have answered and you can take the poll here.

Regardless of their party, presidential candidates must continue to keep all energy options on the table, including coal. The energy in America’s recoverable coal reserves is roughly equal to that of the world’s known oil reserves, and coal remains America’s dominant source of power.

American energy policy changes with each administration, but one fact remains the same: coal is a viable, abundant resource in this country. Whichever candidate is elected this year should remember that coal is America’s power.

Which presidential candidate do you think will best secure America’s national energy security? Tell us in the comments or vote here.

ACCCE Supports Bipartisan Majority of U.S. House of Representatives in Calling on EPA to Stop More Bad Regulations

Letter to EPA Cites Damage of Proposed New Source Performance Standards

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan letter signed by 221 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and led by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), called on the Obama Administration to stop the EPA’s latest effort to impose new greenhouse gas rules on electric utilities.

“When a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives calls on the Obama Administration to put a stop to another EPA regulation that will drive up energy costs for families and businesses, it’s time for the EPA to start listening,” said Evan Tracey, Senior Vice President, Communications, of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “The EPA continues to push regulations that will hurt the economy. Despite an economic recession, an unacceptable unemployment rate and families that are struggling against escalating energy costs, the EPA is once again pushing for expensive new rules.  We support sensible steps to improve the environment, but it’s high time for Office of Management and Budget to stop another bad EPA rule before its too late.”

The majority of the U.S. House who signed the letter to the Office of Management and Budget said that EPA would force the use of unproven technologies and send thousands of U.S. jobs overseas. To see the full letter, please click here.

Overbearing Regulations’ Impact on Seniors and Job Creators

Today, President Obama will be giving a speech at the University of Miami to reiterate a major item from his State of the Union address last month, what he calls an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy. But new and proposed regulations from the EPA could take away our ability to produce electricity from one of America’s most affordable and reliable sources of energy: coal.

After Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced a disapproval resolution against Utility MACT last week, a new regulation which would needlessly drive up electricity prices and destroy jobs, the 60 Plus Association, a group representing over 7 million seniors (many of whom are on fixed incomes), explained why it’s important to set aside this rule:

For the last three years the EPA has been entirely hostile to policies that will increase energy supplies and lower costs for America’s seniors and families, and MACT is one of the very worst examples of this … Everybody shares the goal of environmentally responsible energy extraction and consumption, but the MACT as pushed by the EPA is totally irresponsible by demanding standards that are of no benefit to the public, but burden consumers with higher energy costs that will kill jobs.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing African-American business communities and entrepreneurs, also pointed out that the Utility MACT rule would be most costly regulation that the EPA has ever imposed, which would “close utility plants” and “end hundreds of thousands of jobs.” Other groups representing job creators, like the National Association of Manufacturers, pointed out the Sen. Inhofe’s resolution would be a good first step in truly having an “all of the above” energy policy:

Sen. Inhofe’s effort to repeal the Utility MACT rule will help give manufacturers more certainty while stopping an extremely harmful regulation. We need an ’all-of-the-above’ energy policy to keep manufacturing competitive. That should include clean coal … Harmful regulations that pick winners and losers will only inhibit economic growth and job creation.

You can learn more about Utility MACT’s impact on energy, jobs and manufacturing by clicking here.

A Pillar of Our Nation’s Economy

Any legislation or regulation at the federal or state level must, first, do no harm to one of our most abundant and affordable sources of energy while balancing economic, environmental and energy security for this country.

In an op-ed last week for Energy Biz, ACCCE’s president and CEO Steve Miller laid out coal’s historical and modern-day importance to America’s economy and why new EPA regulations on coal-fueled electricity to lead to significant harm:

Coal’s ability to serve as a baseload power source means that it provides the electricity needed for millions of American families and businesses, day or night. Coal makes sure that our lights are on, our water is hot, and appliances and computers are working, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing …

To make sure that coal can continue to work for America, the industry needs a clear view of the regulatory landscape. That means federal and state policymakers must ensure that we have both a cleaner environment as well as affordable and reliable electricity. Over the past few years, the EPA has issued or proposed a cadre of regulations that would result in a substantial decline in the usage of American coal and lead to the premature shutdown of many coal-fueled power plants …

Coal has been America’s fuel for decades — a pillar of our nation’s economy. The path forward for the United States therefore must include greater investments in clean coal technologies to continue our nation’s environmental progress, and implementation of public policies that recognize coal’s key role in supporting American jobs, businesses and families.

Read Steve’s full op-ed here.

ACCCE Statement on U.S. Senate Effort to Restrain EPA’s Job-Destroying Regulation

Utility MACT is the Wrong Policy at the Worst Time

WASHINGTON – The United States Senate today took the first step in setting aside a new EPA regulation on America’s coal-fueled electricity industry that would unnecessarily drive up energy costs for millions of American families and businesses. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, filed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s Utility MACT Rule.  EPA also calls the rule the MATS rule.

“Congressional action is essential to stop this heavy-handed new regulation by EPA that will needlessly drive up energy prices for all Americans and destroy jobs,” said Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.  “With half of Americans now devoting more than 20 percent of their family budget to energy costs, EPA is making energy much more expensive with the most costly regulation ever imposed by the agency on the coal-fueled electricity industry.  Given the fragility of America’s economic recovery, that’s the wrong policy, at the worst possible time.”

The effects of rising energy costs are the subject of a recently released report, “Energy Cost Impacts on American Families.” Some of the major findings are that –

  • Energy costs have almost doubled for the average family and are eating up a disproportionate share of low- and fixed-income families’ budgets.
  • Energy cost burdens are greatest on the poorest families.
  • Minority families are particularly burdened by higher energy costs.
  • Lower- and fixed-income senior households are among those most vulnerable to energy price increases.
  • Electricity is a relative bargain among energy products. This is due, in part, to the utility industry’s reliance on affordable coal.
  • EPA regulations drive up electricity prices. Electricity price increases over the past two decades are due in part to costs associated with meeting clean air and other environmental standards.

The full study is available at:

EPA’s Utility MACT regulation, which was finalized in late December 2011, would lead to the closure of many coal-fueled power plants.  A comprehensive analysis  by National Economic Research Associates found that the proposed Utility MACT Rule and other finalized and pending EPA regulations for  power plants using coal could  destroy an average of 183,000 jobs every year from 2012- 2020 and increase electricity and other energy prices by $170 billion.

“America’s coal-based electricity industry is grateful to Senator Inhofe and other Members of Congress who understand coal’s importance to the American economy now and well into the future,” said Miller. “We urge strong, bipartisan support for this resolution in order to protect consumers and jobs.”

With American Energy, American Jobs

There’s no doubt about it: energy costs are increasing in this country. A few days ago, we released a study saying that more than half of U.S. households now devote more than 20 percent of their family budget toward energy costs.

Without affordable energy, small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, which hampers our economic recovery. Rather than growing and creating jobs, some businesses are downsizing and cutting jobs.

How does coal help? As our one of our most abundant and affordable resources, it provides stable, affordable power to help keep businesses’ doors open and the lights turned on.

This week, we’re premiering a new video that drives this point home—affordable energy from coal creates American jobs. It’s time to remind our friends and families that coal is America’s power.

Tell your friends.

Who is Hit Hardest by Rising Utility Bills?

More than half of U.S. households now devote more than 20 percent of their family budget toward energy costs. Simply put—that’s a lot of money.

According to a study we commissioned this year, the 60 million American households that earn less than $50,000 per year—that’s half of all U.S. families—will devote an estimated 21 percent of their incomes to energy, compared to just 12 percent in 2001.

In a recovering economy, any unforeseen increase in utilities can be hard for families to bear. From the study, we were able to get a better idea of which demographics are hit hardest by these price increases.

  • The poor. Energy cost burdens are the hardest on the poorest families. For families earning less than $10,000 a year, 78 percent of their after-tax incomes goes to energy bills.
  • Lower and fixed-income seniors. This demographic are among the most vulnerable to energy price increases. With food, medical and other necessities, household budgets are stretched thin when energy prices dramatically increase.
  • Minority families. More than 60 percent of Black and Hispanic families had pre-tax household incomes below the national average in 2010.

Coal can provide stable, affordable energy. States that use more coal to generate electricity have lower electricity rates, but regulations that stifle the coal-fueled power industry will mean more electricity rate increases, high bills and more accommodating budgets across the country. For more facts about electricity rates, regulations and coal-fueled electricity, follow us on Facebook.