In the current economy, many Americans are on tight budgets and can’t afford to spend more is on energy. Our recent study finds that more than half of U.S. households will spend an average 20 percent of their family budget on energy, nearly double what they spent 13 years ago.
Last year we spoke with the people of Red Springs, North Carolina to find out how rising energy costs would impact their daily lives. 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 heavy handed EPA regulations coming, American families are going to be paying higher electricity prices. Hasty regulations will slow the recovery of our economy, hurt hardworking families and put thousands of jobs at risk.
Share the people of Red Spring’s story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
Last month we mentioned a story regarding the Navajo Generating Station that stated that EPA regulations that would require adding new emissions controls to the plant would cost $1.1 billion and would only marginally reduce the plants portion of haze in the area.
According to the White Mountain Independent, “In a rare joint committee hearing chaired by Senator Gail Griffin (R-Hereford), members of the SenateGovernment and Environment Committee and the House Energy, Environment, andNatural Resources Committee, chaired by Representative Frank Pratt (R-Casa Grande) heard testimony from state air quality regulators, utility officials, a hospital executive, union representative, and the Director of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, all of whom agreed that new regulations announced by the EPA could have a significant, negative impact on Arizona’s economy and its ability to attract and create new jobs.”
“This is a non-partisan issue that has alarmed Republicans and Democrats alike,” Senator Griffin said. “Regardless of how one feels about the EPA, there is nothing logical about requiring Arizona residents to pay a billion dollars for regulations that make virtually no improvement in visibility and have nothing to do with public health.”
This is just further evidence that the EPA continues to ignore the damage that its new regulations are causing to the U.S. economy and to states that depend on coal for jobs and affordable electricity.
The New York Times recently reported that “Electricity prices in New England have been four to eight times higher than normal in the last few weeks, as the region’s extreme reliance on natural gas for power supplies has collided with a surge in demand for heating.”
And it’s no surprise that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that our demand for electricity will continue to rise. To meet that demand, we’re going to need all of our available domestic energy resources. That means natural gas, nuclear, hydro and other renewables like wind and solar and especially coal.
The article went on to point out, “It is certainly true that a region like New England that relies on a single fuel source like natural gas for the bulk of its power does leave itself open for more disruptions than a region with a more diverse fuel mix,” said Jay Apt, executive director of the Electricity Industry Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “It’s not a knock against natural gas; it’s a knock against a single fuel source.”
The American Public Power Association has warned since 2010 that demand is outpacing the delivery capacity of gas infrastructure. At coal plants, “you can look out the window and see that 60-day supply of your fuel,” said Joe Nipper, the group’s senior vice president of government relations. But gas plants tend to deliver fuel just as it is needed.
According to the article, “Additionally, experts say that the natural gas market and the electric market mesh poorly, because while the electric market runs around the clock, the gas market closes down at night.”
Ultimately, the facts remain: We need all of our domestic energy resources to create a balanced fuel portfolio and satisfy our growing demand for electricity. Coal is reliable and generates the baseload electricity needed to supply the electricity American homes and businesses depend on, no matter what the current demands may be.
Today, the author of our Energy Costs study, Eugene Trisko, will testify before Congress that family incomes are not keeping pace with rising energy costs.
His study shows that America’s working class and those on fixed and lower incomes are suffering from increases in energy costs the most. Trisko’s testimony also details that more than half of U.S. households will spend an average 20 percent of their family budget on energy, nearly double what they spent 13 years ago. And for many families, high energy costs are now competing with other basic necessities such as food and health care.
We will be updating @AmericasPower on Twitter throughout the day with highlights from the hearing, so make it a point to follow us for up-to-the-minute information.
Our new study shows that America’s working class and those on fixed and lower incomes are suffering from increases in energy costs the most. The study finds that more than half of U.S. households will spend an average 20 percent of their family budget on energy, nearly double what they spent 13 years ago.
Yesterday, on our America’s Power Facebook page, we asked the question “Are you tired of your paycheck not keeping pace with rising energy costs? If you say yes, our new study says you’re not alone”. Take a moment to “Like” us on Facebook today and answer our latest poll question.
Keep in mind that a typical American family is spending almost twice as much for energy today as they did just 13 years ago, and for many families, high energy costs are now competing with other basic necessities such as food and health care.
America is powered by many different types of energy. The country relies on baseload power and peaking power to meet its energy needs. Baseload power provides the energy needed to keep America running all the time—keeping the lights on in our hospitals, fire stations and data centers. For baseload power, you must use hard-path fuels such as coal, which can provide power 24 hours per day. Peaking power is energy that comes on and off throughout the day, when electricity usage and energy demand goes up.
Coal is a strong, dependable form of baseload power, making it an essential part of our energy portfolio. Coal keeps rates stable for families and small businesses—so much so that states using more coal to generate electricity tend to have lower electricity rates.
Using coal as a baseload power in our country helps the United States become more energy independent. Relying on what we have below our feet—roughly two centuries worth of coal—Americans can feel more secure about their energy future.
Every day, Americans require electricity to power their lives. Heating, lights, electronics – all of these things require a stable source of power to ensure continued operation. And our need for this electricity is increasing every day. Coal, as one of America’s most abundant sources of domestic energy, provides an answer to this need.
Estimates say the United States holds 272 billion tons of coal reserves within its borders, and we currently use about 1.1 billion tons a year. That means that we have enough electricity from coal to power our country for more than two centuries .
So, the next time you turn on a light switch, or fire up your computer, think about the source of that electricity. It’s likely coal was part of that power.
The coal-based electricity industry has invested significantly in reducing the emissions from coal-fueled power plants. And these investments have yielded great results: Emissions have been reduced almost 90 percent since in the last few decades.
This electricity generated from coal is what keeps costs low for families and small businesses, fueling the innovation and industry that is America’s great strength. But bureaucrats in Washington would rather ignore these investments and impose regulations that will effectively end coal-fueled electricity in the United States.
Coal will be the most dominant source of energy in the world in less than five years. The United States is unilaterally moving to stop itself from using the most abundant, affordable fuel that we have. Is this the path forward? Our fragile economy demands that we do everything in our power to unleash growth. That means continuing to utilize the power that coal reliably and affordably delivers. Learn more by watching our informative videos.
Mike Duncan is the president and CEO for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the use of coal...
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Laura Sheehan Senior Vice President
Laura Sheehan is a seasoned public affairs expert with more than a 20-year track record in policy communications, media relations, crisis and issues management, community and...
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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...
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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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