Jade Davis is the Director of State Affairs and Outreach for The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
Last week I had the unique opportunity to bring a group of thought leaders, community activists and elected officials to tour the Kemper County Energy Facility in Kemper County Mississippi.
Representatives from various organizations including The National Policy Alliance, The National Association of Black County Officials, The American Association of Blacks in Energy, The Forrest County NAACP, The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy, Manufacture Alabama, and the Tennessee Valley Association joined with a representative from Alabama Governor Bentley’s Office and Mississippi State Senators Sampson Jackson II, Kenneth Wayne Jones, Kelvin Butler and Robert Jackson to see first hand how 21st century coal is having a major positive impact on Eastern Mississippi and Western Alabama.
One of the constant challenges we face in the coal industry is the misconception that clean coal isn’t real. We didn’t want to ask these leaders to believe it without seeing it so we gave them the opportunity to experience our cleaner coal technology in action. They had a chance to meet the engineers and plant operators who provide cleaner, affordable energy to the region and tour a 21st century coal mine to see how our industry has grown and adapted over the years.
This trip wasn’t just about showing off our technological advances, we wanted to make sure everyone who joined the tour knew about the opportunities cleaner coal offers the community. Whether it’s creating and supporting jobs, investment opportunities, or providing a backbone for communities to grow and develop, facilities like Kemper help power progress regionally.
For me, this was more than just another work trip. Though I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, my mother’s family migrated to Ohio from Western Alabama. Being able to see how Kemper has brought good jobs, affordable power and community investment into the region was especially moving to me and sharing that experience with leaders, activists and officials made this trip all the more worthwhile.
At facilities like Kemper, cutting edge technology is being deployed to power our homes, businesses, hospitals and schools. Clean coal technology is real and it’s a viable way to help communities grow.
It’s my hope that everyone can see how plants like Kemper, employing cutting edge clean coal technologies, can improve quality of life while providing affordable energy.