Posts filed under Latest

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.

 


Newly Launched #ColdInTheDark Campaign Highlights Reliability Concerns with EPA Regulations

This week, America’s Power launched a new campaign—#ColdInTheDark—to highlight the high costs and significant electric reliability impacts that will result from the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon regulations. The initiative offers a glimpse into the reality American consumers will face under the Clean Power Plan: less affordable and less reliable electricity, especially during times of critical demand.

EPA’s regulations are forcing coal-based power plants to shut down, threatening our supply of reliable electricity and elevating the risk of power outages for years to come. Last winter’s polar vortex revealed an already-strained electric grid, and major grid operators, regulators, elected officials, energy experts and other concerned Americans from coast to coast have sounded the alarm.

#ColdInTheDark is the inaugural installment of KeepAmericasPowerOn.org, a new initiative that will include several themed campaigns throughout 2015. The site will serve as an online hub that includes news articles, expert takes, infographics, social media share graphics, and resources related to electric grid reliability.

It’s time to expose EPA’s regulations for what they are, before Americans are left #ColdInTheDark – without the low-cost, dependable power we need, when we need it the most. Visit www.KeepAmericasPowerOn.org to learn more.  


The Morning Consult: Ignoring the Economic Benefits of Coal-Based Electricity, President Obama Once Again Chooses Politics over Practicality

This column originally appeared in The Morning Consult.

In the wake of the midterm elections and looking ahead at two years of a lame duck presidency, President Obama is working harder than ever to advance his highly politicized climate agenda, even if it means ignoring the wills of Congress and the American people.

Backed by a small faction of environmentalist elites, the president is determined to pursue his political interests by whatever means necessary. In the last two weeks, that has meant making a questionable climate “deal” with China at the expense of Americans and our economy.

The president’s so-called “deal” with China will put America squarely on the losing end of the arrangement, as U.S. states struggle to meet unrealistic carbon reduction goals by 2025 while China operates as usual until 2030, when they are supposedly going to level-off their emissions. Of course the whole deal is non-binding, and skeptics aren’t sure China will honor their commitment.

One such doubter is the National Bureau of Asian Research which predicts China will continue to prioritize its economic growth over environmental policy and will resist any measure considered “restrictive” to its “conventional growth model,” which involves the use of affordable and reliable coal-fueled electricity.

The National Bureau of Asian Research raises a good point as China has experienced rapid economic development through the use of abundant and affordable coal deposits. The use of coal is bringing electrification to millions of its citizens for the first time as well as supporting its expanding manufacturing sector.

Like China, much of the world will rely on coal-based electricity to lift their citizens out of poverty and grow their economies. While these countries set their sights on a path towards economic growth and development, America will chart a different course – one plagued by lost jobs, soaring energy costs and a weakened manufacturing base.


Americans from Coast to Coast #ThankAMiner

America’s Power recently launched #ThankAMiner, a new initiative that showcases the many reasons Americans are thankful for our nation’s coal miners. We profiled the program in a blog post last week, and since then, we’ve received a flood of submissions from supporters sharing why they #ThankAMiner.

Here are just a few of the messages we’ve received so far:

“I #ThankAMiner – they work very hard each day to allow us to have electricity, heat, and air conditioning. Their job supports many communities, small businesses and millions of ancillary jobs. Our country needs coal… Thank you for what you do!” – Justin T., West Virginia

“The coal industry is…the backbone of America.” – Bob B., Iowa

“For all your hard work, I was able to work in a coal-fired power plant for 36 years. Your commitment to provide us with quality coal allowed [me] to buy a home and put my children through college. THANKS!” – Sue R., Michigan

“Today, I urge you to join me and #ThankAMiner for putting in the long hours and doing the hard work of providing affordable and reliable electricity to the people of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and across the United States.” – Congressman Bill Johnson, Ohio

“Thank you to each and every man and woman who goes into the pits or works the strip mines for the hard work you do so that I can enjoy having electricity. I know there are other ways to provide this but none that are as inexpensive as coal.” – Phyllis G., Kentucky

“I thank you and your families for all the days and nights of hard work to bring the coal from the ground so that we can have affordable energy to be able to power our homes and workplaces.” – Carol M., Alabama

“I thank Power River Basin & America’s miners for providing affordable electricity.” Martha A., Wyoming

“Coal miners are tough and hard workers. They put forth every effort to make sure conditions are safe and secure to extract a product that continues to provide necessary energy to keep America and the world working. You are not recognized and thanked enough.” – Dawn R., Pennsylvania

Add your voice to the movement before National Miners Day on Saturday, December 6. Visit ThankAMiner.org to submit your photo and written message sharing why you want to #ThankAMiner.


Thank a Coal Miner this Holiday Season

All too often, we forget where the electricity that powers our lives first begins. For reliable, coal-based electricity, the process of power generation starts in America’s coal mines.

Saturday, December 6 is National Miners Day, and America’s Power is excited to announce a new initiative that showcases the reasons we’re thankful for the hard-working men and women who provide affordable, reliable electricity from coal to communities across the United States. We encourage you to take part in our #ThankAMiner initiative and tell us why you value our nation’s coal miners, just like America’s Power Nationwide Series driver Regan Smith did. As Regan told us, “I am thankful for America’s miners – they work hard each and every day so that we can all keep the lights on.”

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Why are you thankful for America’s coal miners? To participate and add your voice to #ThankAMiner, visit www.ThankAMiner.org today.