Posts filed under Latest

Get the Facts on Coal-Based Electricity

As you read this post from your computer, tablet or smart phone, there’s a good chance it’s powered by coal-based electricity. In fact, many of the devices, machines, cars, buildings and communities around you are fueled by coal, which provides 39 percent of America’s electricity.

This fact and much more can be found on CoalFacts.org, a site aimed at educating Americans about our nation’s most abundant and affordable fuel source. Just one short visit to the site reveals:

  1. The U.S. has the world’s largest recoverable coal reserves – enough to power current demand for nearly 300 years.
  2. States that use more coal to generate electricity have lower electricity rates on average.
  3. Coal is responsible for more than 700,000 jobs in the U.S.
  4. Emissions from coal-fueled power plants have decreased by 90 percent since 1970.

 As our economy and energy needs grow, coal will continue to play a critical role in providing affordable, reliable and increasingly clean electricity for our nation. By sharing these coal facts with others, you can help promote a more secure energy future for America.

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Read the study, share our graphics on Facebook and explore CoalFacts.org to spread the word about affordable, reliable coal-based electricity.

 

 


You Could Win a Chance to Meet Dale Jr., Fly to Florida for NASCAR’s Championship Weekend

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a giant in the world of NASCAR. He’s been dubbed America’s Favorite Driver for 12 years in a row – and now you have a chance to meet him.

America’s Power is pleased to announce today the launch of our “Meet Dale Jr. Contest,” an exciting opportunity for fans across the country to spend time with the NASCAR legend. Once you sign up with America’s Power, you have a chance to win our grand prize: a four-day trip for two to the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Sprint Cup Series races in Homestead, Florida this November, including a private meet-and-greet with Dale Jr.

Our partnership with Dale Jr. and his team is only natural. As a business owner, he knows first-hand how important affordable, reliable energy is to keeping costs low and productivity high. Dale’s business, JR Motorsports, relies on low-cost power from coal to keep its operations running year-round.

This year’s contest marks our third year together, and Dale Jr. is just as thrilled as we are, saying: “Our fans are what make NASCAR so great, so I’m excited to once again partner with America’s Power for this opportunity. America’s Power and JR Motorsports have had a great run so far, largely due to our shared commitment to protect affordable, reliable coal-based electricity for consumers and businesses across the U.S.”

Start your engines and sign up today to meet Dale Jr.! Learn more and enter at www.AmericasPower.org/Meet-Dale.

 


The Morning Consult: Legal and Cost Concerns Mounting Against EPA Regulations

This column originally appeared in The Morning Consult on April 1, 2015.

Criticism around the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan has grown over the last month. Much of it has focused on the fact that EPA’s plan stretches far beyond the limits of sound legal and economic policy.

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity president and CEO Mike Duncan described in a March 11 op-ed in the Washington Examiner how EPA’s proposed rule completely disregards the principles of federalism that define our Constitution. In what many agree is federal overreach, President Obama has granted EPA the authority to implement standards each state must meet to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. While EPA claims that it is within its legal bounds under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to do so, a number of experts have been quick to disprove this argument.

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Speaking at a House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing last month, Lawrence H. Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School and former mentor to President Obama, stated, “The obscure section of the Clean Air Act that EPA invokes to support its breathtaking exercise of power in fact authorizes only regulating individual plants and, far from giving EPA the green light it claims, actually forbids what it seeks to do.”

Professor Tribe—who taught the nation’s first environmental law class—went on to compare the Obama Administration’s proposed carbon regulations to “burning the Constitution.” Allison Wood, another hearing witness and environmental attorney with Hunton and Williams, LLP, sealed the argument by stating that EPA’s proposal “suffers from numerous legal deficiencies, including whether EPA even has the authority to issue it.”

In fact, since the rule was proposed in June 2014, officials in 29 states ranging from attorneys general to governors and state legislators have concluded that EPA does not have the legal authority to regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power units.

Fanning the flames, EPA’s proposed rule also poses grave economic consequences that could harm our nation’s economy. Monthly utility costs under the rule would skyrocket, leaving our poorest and most vulnerable communities facing exorbitant electricity rates. According to an analysis conducted last October, the compliance cost of EPA’s proposal could total more than $366 billion and cause double-digit utility rate increases for consumers in 43 states.

It’s hard to buy what EPA is selling when it comes to the agency’s Clean Power Plan. The rule is on perilous legal ground and if implemented will raise the price tag on consumers and plunge our economy back into a recession.

Americans must continue demanding the facts and force this administration to stop its “act now, think later” mentality. Only then will our nation stand a chance of implementing a true all-of-the-above energy policy that will provide Americans the affordable, reliable energy needed for success and future economic growth.

 


Road to 2016: Informing the Energy Debate

America’s Power is partnering with InsideSources to host an energy policy discussion featuring Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Senator Rick Santorum and Iowa Congressman David Young on Thursday, April 9th in Des Moines, Iowa.

This inaugural event is the first in our “Road to 2016: Informing the Energy Debate” series, a set of discussions America’s Power will sponsor across the country on the effects Environmental Protection Agency regulations are having on states and how this debate will shape the political narrative in the year ahead.

The energy debate in the 2016 elections will be critically important. As it stands, EPA’s Clean Power Plan takes direct aim at coal-based electricity and will force states like Iowa to restructure how energy is produced. Replacing America’s most abundant and affordable fuel source with expensive and intermittent sources will increase electricity rates and reduce grid reliability, both in Iowa and across the country.

With such drastic changes to our electricity supply on the line, it’s time to bring the energy debate home.

Learn more about our event in Iowa and participate in the conversation by following America’s Power on Twitter or using the event hashtag #RoadTo2016.

 


CPP – Clean Power Plan or “Crowned” Power Plan?

As a small-town girl, I never expected anywhere I called home to host a monarch, let alone see both places I call home entertain royalty in the same week. As you may have heard, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are visiting the United States. Naturally, their first stop was my new home in Washington, D.C. To finish their tour, however, the royal pair is dropping by…my old Kentucky home?

Yes, the successor to Britain’s throne is speaking at a Louisville symposium for health and the environment. Although this event is definitely out of the ordinary, it isn’t what I found most surprising when contemplating their royal visit.

During a recent appearance in front of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, EPA air chief Janet McCabe was asked why public hearings weren’t held in states most impacted by the Clean Power Plan. Ms. McCabe’s answer? EPA selected locations they felt most “comfortable” visiting. Few stakeholder locations made the list, as EPA ignored repeated invites to coal-producing states, including an invitation to Kentucky extended by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

It is this question that baffles me – how could another nation’s prince be more comfortable visiting Kentucky than officials from our own government?

EPA didn’t feel “comfortable” enough hearing the concerns of those most affected by the Clean Power Plan, yet their regulations will force Americans to face job losses, higher energy costs and less reliable electricity. EPA’s attempt to unilaterally control how we produce and use energy has me asking – who is wearing the crown here? Prince Charles or EPA?

EPA should remember America is not a monarchy before the Clean Power Plan leaves us with a royal mess.

 


Industry Spotlight: Powering the Future for Women in Energy

In honor of Women’s History Month this March, America’s Power is celebrating the women who help keep the lights on across the country. To kick things off, we’re spotlighting two companies that demonstrate a serious commitment to creating opportunities for women energy workers.

Ameren Corp.

Ameren Corp. has fostered growth for female workers through its employee resource group, Women Influencing Success in Energy (WISE). In 2013, Ameren WISE launched a pilot program called “Get Into Energy – Young Women Career Day.” Through the program, Ameren’s employees educated 30 high-school students on potential careers in energy and specific opportunities at Ameren, provided tours of Ameren’s facilities and much more.

In addition to engaging young women, Ameren is also committed to promoting female leadership at top levels. Currently, Ameren is one of the top three St. Louis companies when it comes to the percentage of women directors serving on boards.

Union Pacific

By ensuring their “workforce represents the country they serve,” Union Pacific has won multiple awards for its commitment to diversity. In fact, Union Pacific was named a Best Diversity Company by the readers of Diversity Careers in Engineering and Information Technology for the fifth consecutive year in 2013, largely for its support of women and women-owned businesses.

Much of Union Pacific’s success with female workers can be attributed to its women’s initiative, LEAD (Lead Educate Achieve and Develop). LEAD ensures that more women are recruited, retained and advanced as Union Pacific leaders. From providing motivational female speakers, to holding women’s networking events, Union Pacific’s LEAD initiative actively works to enhance the careers of female employees.

Both Ameren and Union Pacific are empowering women with more opportunities in the energy workforce. We recognize their efforts and thank them for the work they do to help power all of our lives.

 


Guest Blog: Kelley Earnhardt Miller on the Importance of Reliable Electricity

I’m Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and I co-own JR Motorsports along with my brother Dale Jr. JR Motorsports has partnered with America’s Power for the last three seasons, and we’re looking forward to another great year on and off the track in 2015.

This year, I’m excited to pen a new monthly series for the Behind the Plug blog, where I’ll explore how the important mission of America’s Power—protecting affordable, reliable and increasingly clean electricity from coal—impacts my everyday life as a business owner, mom and member of my community.

Through JR Motorsports’ partnership with America’s Power, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how electricity is generated and the vital role coal plays in the process. Right here in North Carolina, the home of JR Motorsports’ headquarters, coal is responsible for providing nearly 40 percent of our low-cost, reliable electricity.

When temperatures drop as they have across the country this winter, Americans are relieved to know that when they flip a switch, the lights will come on. But behind the electricity that powers homes and businesses are the energy workers who ensure that our power stays on when we need it most. As Dale Jr. says in this month’s featured video, these hard-working men and women “keep the lights on and the cold at bay.”

The 2015 NASCAR season opener is just a few days away, and on behalf of JR Motorsports, I can’t wait to begin another season with America’s Power. Thanks for reading, and check back next month for my new post on Behind the Plug.

 


Setting the Agenda: America’s Power Welcomes New Faces of the 114th Congress

Last Thursday, America’s Power teamed up with Real Clear Politics to host a captivating panel featuring four freshman Senators. These new faces – Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) – gathered to discuss their reaction to the President’s State of the Union address and their hopes for the 114th Congress.

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Almost to a tee, when asked for two words that described their reaction to the SOTU, all said disappointed and missed opportunity. Indeed, it was a missed opportunity as the President by-passed talking about a host of critical policy issues, energy chief among them.

As Senator Rounds succinctly put it, the President offered no insight into our energy situation, but instead offered “a defense of where we are, and offense about what he wouldn’t do to work with us.”

The President’s resistance to compromise echoes the resistance his Environmental Protection Agency allies demonstrate with their Clean Power Plan. Yet another item absent from the President’s SOTU agenda was a transparent discussion about the costly consequences, like higher electricity rates and less reliable energy, associated with his dogged climate crusade.

Overall, the panel further shared its disappointment with the President as he opted for a defiant and uncooperative tone. A tone that made it clear he is not interested in working together with Republicans on the tough issues facing our nation.

Senator Tillis’ comments perfectly summarize the panel’s feelings, as well as the energy situation America is in: last year’s midterm elections revealed that citizens feel “a level of discomfort with the direction [the Administration has] taken this country.” The SOTU was President Obama’s opportunity to recognize the need to “find common ground with a majority of states.”

We can only hope the Administration will soon withdraw its unworkable, unachievable policies and find the much called-for common ground Americans deserve.