None of us have the benefit of a crystal, ball but one thing is certain as we look ahead at 2014 – coal will continue to be a fundamental part of our energy future, ensuring America has the affordable, reliable, base-load energy needed to power our everyday lives and businesses.
In 2014, we must focus on how to move reasonable policies forward that continue to make America’s coal-based industries leaders in reducing emissions and innovating new ways to utilize one of our greatest energy resources. Putting political platitudes and legacy goals ahead of smart policies,will only threaten our economy, risk hundreds of thousands of jobs, and halt innovation.
Consider that through 2013, the coal-fueled electricity industry had invested $118 billion in a variety of clean coal technologies, reducing emissions by nearly 90% since 1970. And, between 2012 and 2016, the industry will invest another $35 billion on the U.S. coal fleet’s emissions controls.
These investments mean more than just cleaner coal-fueled power. They represent an effort by the industry to develop new technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which could mean an estimated $1 trillion in economic benefits to the U.S. over the next two decades.
But these benefits are in jeopardy. Overreaching and unattainable regulations proposed by the EPA threaten to send innovative technologies like CCS, which are still in their infancy, to countries like China which will reap the rewards of second and third generation development.
The conversation about the future of our energy policy has to focus on how we move forward, not backward.
We must have an energy policy that helps create jobs and new economic opportunities while ensuring that we have affordable and reliable power for our families and businesses.
We must develop sensible solutions that balance our need to reduce the environmental impact of energy generation with our need to protect American energy workers, consumers and manufacturers. In short, we need an all-of-the-above energy policy.
This Wednesday, America’s Power will be presenting U.S. Energy Policy: The Road Ahead, hosted by Real Clear Politics.
Register here to be part of the discussion, and help us start a conversation that moves our energy policy forward and protects the people and communities that keep our lights on and our homes warm.
If you can’t make it to the event in person, be a part of the discussion on Twitter using #RCPEnergy.