Archive for January, 2014

ACCCE Joins the Partnership for a Better Energy Future

This morning, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, a coalition of stakeholders representing nearly every segment of the economy, officially launched an effort to act as a unified voice to support sensible energy reform.

At the launch event today, ACCCE President and CEO Mike Duncan joined a panel of representatives from the Institute for 21st Century Energy, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Mining Association, the Fertilizer Institute the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Portland Cement Association and the American Gas Association.

These stakeholders, along with other members of the Partnership, are coming together because recent EPA regulations will impact more than just the coal industry.  As ACCCE President and CEO Mike Duncan said:

“The Partnership demonstrates this isn’t an issue that only affects coal-based industries but rather one that threatens American jobs, our manufacturing and agricultural base and our broader economy.”

The Partnership will work inside the beltway and across the country to increase awareness about EPA’s dangerous regulatory overreach and empower Americans to continue to demand access to affordable, reliable energy.

“Coming together as a unified coalition, the Partnership will empower and educate stakeholders to take action to stop EPA from putting regulations in place that will make America a more expensive place not only to live but to do business.”

You can help us push back against EPA overreach.  Sign our letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and tell her we need to preserve affordable, reliable energy for American families and businesses.


Missed Opportunity

Last night, as the President delivered his State of the Union address, he ignored an opportunity to be candid with the American people about the impacts of his Climate Action Plan.

The President decried income inequality while touting the progress of his climate change initiative – a plan that will place an outsized burden on lower and fixed-income families.

He called for more job creation, across the economy, including manufacturing but lauded his administration’s efforts to dismantle an industry that provides reliable, affordable energy to all kinds of job creators.

He once again proclaimed his desire for a cleaner energy future but continues to ignore the progress and investment the coal industry has made to reduce emissions and develop new technologies for better energy production.

In previous State of the Union addresses, the President has counted on clean coal as part of his energy agenda.  In 2009, he included clean coal as an essential part of making “clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.” In 2010 he promised continued investment in clean coal technologies after saying: “But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives.”

What’s strange is four years later, after counting on coal to help make State of the Union promises a reality; this administration is ready to leave coal out completely.

The President may have left coal out of his speech last night, but we hope he hasn’t forgotten the millions of Americans who rely on affordable, reliable coal.


Leveling with the American People on the Climate Action Plan

In anticipation of tonight’s State of the Union address, we’re hopeful the President will be candid about the impacts of his environmental policies and level with the American people about his Climate Action Plan.

Reports suggest the President will focus his speech on job creation, income equality and economic growth.  Unfortunately, this is little more than rhetoric.  In fact, this administration’s assault on coal-fueled power is having the exact opposite effect, jeopardizing our economic future and costing Americans their jobs.

“While the President touts that his second term will address economic inequality, his own Administration’s regulations on coal-fueled electricity will have a lasting and devastating impact on low and fixed-income communities and areas of the country dependent on coal-related jobs.” – ACCCE President and CEO Mike Duncan

Read our entire statement on tonight’s State of the Union address here, and visit AmericasPower.org/SOTU to follow our coverage of tonight’s speech.


Coal Keeps Prices Low and the Power On

At tonight’s State of the Union address, we know President Obama will say something about our energy future.  What we don’t know is if he will take a step back from the potentially devastating policies his administration pushed in 2013 and instead establish a more sensible path forward to help our country meet our electricity needs.

Recently AEP’s Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas Akins spoke about how coal-fueled electricity has been instrumental to meeting the increase in demand caused by frigid temperatures sweeping the U.S.   He noted that nearly 90 percent of coal-fueled capacity slated for retirement next year is currently up and running to help keep the lights on and our homes warm.

“Looking at the physical side, when 89 percent of our coal capacity slated for retirement in mid-2015 is called upon and running, natural gas delivery is challenged and voltage and load reductions are occurring, it is another reminder that we should carefully plan and design this social safety net we call the electric grid to meet extreme requirements, not just steady state conditions.”

While we’re seeing just how important it is for us to continue to have coal be a part of our energy mix, other parts of the world are struggling to provide reliable and affordable energy.

A recent study by the French government, examined the energy policies of the European Union, where they have enacted the sort of ambitious climate change policies President Obama is looking to create.

Though the study looked at a number of factors and issues, one fact that can’t be ignored is this:

“Retail power prices are higher than ever, the utilities industry is in crisis and the security of supply is threatened by the lack of investment in traditional thermal generation.”

America can be a clean energy leader if we make smart decisions.  We can protect our affordable, reliable electricity and reduce our environmental impact, but we can’t accomplish this by phasing out one of our most abundant energy resources.

You can help us prove just how important it is for coal to remain part of our energy mix.  Tell this administration you support protecting the affordable, reliable energy coal provides.

Sign out letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  Show your support for coal.


Businesses Need Affordable Energy

Yesterday it was announced that Big Rivers Electric Corp plans to idle two of their coal-fired power plants in Kentucky.

The news isn’t all bad though, as Marty Littrel, a spokesman for Big Rivers pointed out:

“This is a temporary thing. We have some of the lowest-cost power in the country and have made proposals to sell electricity to several other companies.”

Big Rivers produces power at some of the most affordable rates in the country. On average, its rate is 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour, well below the national industrial average of 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Affordable energy is what coal provides, and it’s exactly what American businesses need. From large manufacturers to small business owners, affordable, reliable power from coal drives our economy.

What American businesses don’t need is an activist administration that is pursuing harmful regulations that will make it impossible to build future, clean coal-fueled power plants. Failure to ensure long-term, use of one of our most abundant fuel sources, will all but guarantee not only higher energy costs but also less reliable energy than what is currently provided by coal.

That’s why we need your help. We need you to tell this administration that you need the affordable power coal provides.

Sign our letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy


Mike Duncan Op-Ed: EPA Deprives the Nation of Affordable, Reliable Power from Coal

Check out our President and CEO Mike Duncan ’s op-ed that ran in The Hill today. Mike makes some really good points about what we should hear from the President in this year’s State of the Union.

I especially like the fact that Mike’s asks why the Administration hasn’t consulted a more diverse stakeholder base when crafting its environmental policies. We all know EPA didn’t listen to those voices who matter most when they were finalizing their NSPS rules.  Instead they were secretly communicating with environmental groups to ensure that the new regulations would prevent the construction of new coal-fueled power plants.

Check out what else Mike has to say by reading his op-ed – EPA Deprives the Nation of Affordable, Reliable Power from Coal

 


The Social Benefits of Carbon

America has long relied on fossil fuels for economic growth and technological advancement. Today we released a study, “The Social Costs of Carbon? No, The Social Benefits of Carbon,” which demonstrates the vast benefits valuable fossil fuels, like coal, play in our day-to-day lives.

The study demonstrates that reliable and affordable energy from fossil fuels not only provides substantial public health benefits but also that CO2 emissions provide direct economic benefits in the form of increased agricultural productivity. This productivity has amounted to $3.2 trillion in benefits over the last 50 years.

It is impossible to recognize the value of fossil fuels without also recognizing the value of coal. As the world’s fastest growing source of energy, coal accounts for nearly 40 percent of electricity in America. Globally, coal is expected to be dominant fuel source for electricity over the next three decades. Unfortunately, the Administration’s “social cost of carbon” estimates are based on simple models and rely heavily on speculative assumptions, so they provide unreliable and uncertain results. The Administration is more concerned about eliminating coal than they are about developing better technology to use fossil fuels, like coal, more efficiently.

In the study, Dr. Roger Bezdek says:

“And the benefits are actual fact; founded on more than two centuries of empirical data, not theoretical summaries based on questionable assumptions, dubious forecasts, and flawed models.”

Now is the time to show your support. Join America’s Power Army and stand up for coal communities across the country.

Sign our letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and oppose the burdensome and unachievable regulations the administration is pursuing.


Energy Experts Agree – EPA Regulations Pose A Serious Threat

Yesterday America’s Power sponsored RealClearPolitics’ “U.S. Energy Policy: The Road Ahead” which brought together some of the leading voices in American energy policy to guide a conversation about what 2014 means for the energy industry.

Though experts discussed all of America’s energy sources, when it comes to coal, a clear theme emerged.  Experts agreed that proposed EPA regulations threaten to do lasting damage to our energy economy and the communities that rely on coal.

Keynote Speaker Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is sponsoring legislation to help rein in the EPA’s overreaching attempt to force unattainable standards on the coal industry, weighed in on the proposed regulations:

“They’re putting (in) targets that are unobtainable… To do what they’re doing is wrong.”

The expert panel also raised some criticism about the EPA’s recent actions.

Daniel Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research urged the opponents of energy to stop playing politics with things like energy in Washington and let things happen in the “real world.”

Ross Eisenberg, vice president for energy resources and policy at the National Association on Manufacturers, described the regulations as a means to an end, rather than an effort to serve EPA’s main function: protecting health and welfare.

William Yeatman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was more direct in his criticism saying in effect, the regulations are shutting down an industry with no gain.

Of all of the comments and criticism about the EPA’s recent efforts, ACCCE president and CEO Mike Duncan said it best, “If the administration isn’t going to change its approach to energy, it should at least be candid about the impacts.”

The administration’s approach to energy policy is going to hurt American families and businesses but you can help us fight back.  Sign our letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and tell this administration that you support coal

Also if you missed our event yesterday, a full video can be found at www.americaspower.org/events.