In this fragile economy, many Americans are on tight budgets. People are still working on trying to balance their finances to keep their families on track and make ends meet. One area where Americans can’t afford to spend more is on energy. In 2011, more than half of U.S. households devoted more than 20 percent of their family budget on energy costs.
A few weeks ago, we spoke with the people of Red Springs, North Carolina. In North Carolina, the 2.1 million households earning less than $50,000 annually spend 23 percent of their income on energy. To the people of Red Springs, any increase in electricity prices would make a huge difference to their already tight family budgets.
With EPA regulations coming rapidly down the pipe, thousands of American families are risk for rising electricity prices. Hasty regulations will slow the recovery of our economy, and put thousands of jobs at risk. For many Americans, this is simply something we can’t afford.
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I’m in Tampa for the Republican National Convention this week, and I’ve been excited to see that coal is on people’s minds. The acknowledged truth on the ground here is clear: coal is under attack. Delegates feel this administration has been acting against coal by doing nothing to stop sweeping regulations that threaten the entire coal-based electricity industry.
Recently, I spoke about it on former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s radio program. And Congressional candidate Andy Barr summed it up when he talked about the plight of the Kentucky coal industry while speaking at the convention:
Beyond the rolling hills of the Bluegrass, within the depths of steep mountainsides, Kentuckians built a coal industry that powers America… Rarely in history has one industry been so ruthlessly attacked with so little regard for the people it hurts.
We’ll be heading to Charlotte later this week, where Democrats who know about our issues will work to add some sense to the EPA’s position against coal. Regardless of party, in the 69 days leading up to the election, securing our energy future, and keeping costs low for families and small businesses, should be an issue on everyone’s minds.
There is no way of knowing what our legislature will look like next year. The shifting landscape after an election, with local, state and national leaders potentially changing, means we need to ensure that all candidates are focused on ensuring the best possible energy mix for the United States.
That’s why we’re at the RNC this week meeting and educating thousands of party members looking to find out about the importance of a homegrown American energy portfolio.
That mix—an “all of the above” policy—must include coal. We need to be utilizing our country’s most abundant natural resource rather than regulating it into oblivion.
The EPA has undertaken regulations that are making it difficult for America’s most abundant, affordable fuel to be used in our own country. Because of those EPA regulations, the reliable baseload power of coal-based electricity in this country could be threatened, even in the near-term.
This week, we’ll be at the RNC and DNC conventions to spread the word: The EPA needs to go back to the drawing board. Now is the time for this country to be utilizing its abundance of coal. If you want to stay in the know about convention-specific coverage, sign up to receive updates from America’s Power.
Evan Tracey Senior Vice President for Communications
Evan is Senior Vice President for Communications, overseeing the strategy on how to communicate the importance of electricity from coal and the value of investments in clean coal technology. Tracey has served as president of Campaign Media Analysis Group, a Kantar Media company, since he founded the company in 1997. He has two decades of political, legislative and issue research experience and has provided strategic media analysis for a number of trade associations, foundations, Fortune 500 companies, political party committees, the national press, academic institutions, as well as hundreds of national, statewide and local political campaigns. He received a M.A. from George Mason University and a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Tracey lives with his wife and 3 children in Virginia.
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Lisa Camooso Miller Vice President
Lisa Camooso Miller is ACCCE's vice president for media relations. She oversees ACCCE's earned media implementation and strategic planning and appears regularly in print, radio and on national television. For more than 15 years, Lisa has been a notable communications leader in public affairs, holding key positions in local, state and federal government, political campaigns and committees, as well as advocacy organizations. She is a native of Wayside, New Jersey, and holds an M.A. in corporate and public communications from Monmouth University, and a B.A. in communications from The College of New Jersey. Lisa and her husband Jason have two children and live in Northern Virginia.
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Bianca Prade Vice President
Bianca Prade is ACCCE's vice president of digital strategy, and leads new and traditional media strategies to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of coal-based electricity. She has more than a decade of communications and marketing experience, launching and maintaining interactive Web content for major corporations, trade associations and government agencies. Bianca lives with her husband and two children in Northern Virginia. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland at College Park and an M.A. in interactive communications from American University.
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Steve Gates Director
Steve Gates, as ACCCE’s national communications director, helps direct the industry’s national media campaigns and digital communications efforts. He has more than 15 years of media relations experience in a variety of settings including Capitol Hill press secretary, as well as directing media and outreach programs for international trade associations, the Fortune 200 and federal government programs. Steve lives with his wife, a coal miner’s daughter, and three children in Omaha, Nebraska. Steve graduated with a B.S. in political science from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and an M.A. in public communications from American University in Washington, D.C.
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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.
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