Posts filed under Current Affairs

Coal Keeps America Thriving

Yesterday, the EPA held public hearings on its proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new coal and gas-fueled power plants.   EPA’s proposal sets an unattainable standard based on technology that hasn’t been proven on a full-scale power plant making it all but impossible to build any future, technologically advanced coal plants in the United States.

This isn’t the right path forward for American energy policy.

The right path forward includes all of our energy resources, especially our most affordable, reliable, domestic fuel source: coal.

The president says he supports an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, but in reality his administration is pursuing an “all but one” energy agenda.

We know how important coal-based electricity is to millions of Americans.  Energy from coal helps keep our lights on, our homes warm and our electricity prices affordable.  That’s why yesterday, as the EPA held its hearing, we circled the nation’s capital with a message for the president:

We can’t change policy by ourselves, which is why we need your help.  We’ve launched a campaign to let the EPA know that they must protect American jobs and ensure we all have the affordable, reliable power we need to fuel our lives.

Sign our letter today and tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that you deserve affordable, reliable power.

 


Key Concerns About New Source Performance Standards

Today, the U.S. EPA held a public hearing on their proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new coal- and gas-fueled power plants.  This proposed rule sets unachievable limits based on yet-unproven carbon capture and storage, or CCS, technology for new coal power plants.   Requiring CCS makes new coal plants prohibitively expensive to build, regardless of how clean and efficient they are. Eliminating the option to build new coal plants discourages fuel diversity, which is important to protecting electricity consumers.

I outlined five key concerns of ACCCE to EPA today:

  • First, NSPS is inconsistent with EPA’s statutory authority which requires standards to be set based on technology that is “adequately demonstrated.”
  • Second, CCS is neither viable nor cost effective based on the criteria used by EPA.  In fact, significant financial, technological and regulatory barriers to CCS exist, and costs are exorbitant right now.
  • Third, EPA’s standard will stall CCS development in the United States because it will prohibit new coal power plants from being built.  New plants are essential to continued demonstration of CCS technology.
  • Fourth, EPA inappropriately relied on federally subsidized demonstration projects to set this standard.  None of these projects are yet operational in the United States.
  • Fifth, EPA failed to consider the significant challenges associated with long-term storage of CO2 which is hampered by geographical and geological constraints and are subject to regulatory uncertainty.

CCS is an important greenhouse gas mitigation technology.  Many stationary sources of CO2 emissions may consider CCS a primary option to significantly reduce emissions.  Although important, CCS is not yet available for new coal power plants in the United States, and can cost upwards of $1 billion extra for a typically-sized power plant.  ACCCE urges EPA to set an NSPS based on new, highly efficient coal power plants without CCS.  This will allow CCS to continue to develop and allow coal to continue to produce affordable and reliable electricity.

 


Perfectly Legal and Perfectly Dishonest.

This morning, I read an editorial in the Wheeling, WV Intelligencer that calls out the EPA for, yet again, shutting out the voices of coal supporters. In the piece, EPA’s ‘Listening Tour’ is Dishonest,” the editors conclude:

“Unfortunately, the EPA’s itinerary is perfectly legal.  It also is perfectly dishonest.”

You see, last year when the EPA announced their proposed New Source Performance Standards, which make it all but impossible to build new coal-fueled power plants here in the United States, they said they were going to listen to the concerns of the American people about their policies.

Sadly, that’s not what they did.

Instead of going to cities and regions where coal supports thousands of jobs and contributes billions to the economy – not to mention keeps the lights on – they showed up in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Lenexa, and Washington, D.C.

The EPA chose to tip the scales in predominately non-coal areas to seemingly misrepresent America’s support of their proposal.

We can’t sit by and watch the administration attempt to ignore the voices of coal communities and coal states on regulations that will have enormous impacts on our families and businesses, and neither should you.

For the next few weeks, we’re asking all of our supporters to tell the EPA that they oppose these new regulations. The voices of the countless people excluded from the EPA’s sham listening tour must be heard.

In addition to our online letter desk tool, the video below will be playing tomorrow on a mobile billboard that will circle EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. to let them know just how we feel about their dishonest listening efforts.

Take action today.  Go to EPARegsCostJobs.com and sign our letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  Every signature is important, so please share this tool with your family and your friends.


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.


Help Us Promote Coal Jobs and Coal Communities

When it comes to the coal industry, our member companies as well as state and regional coal associations are doing some of the most important work promoting coal jobs and coal communities.

The job of promoting coal as an affordable, reliable and vital piece of our energy future is as important today as it’s ever been.

Earlier this week, after a four month delay, the EPA finally added their propose New Source Performance Standards to the Federal Register, taking the next step in finalizing a set of unachievable standards in an unattainable timeframe.

Even with widespread outcry about the problematic nature of NSPS from experts, including those on EPA’s own payroll, the draft posted this week is nearly identical to the draft released in September of last year.

“One must wonder what EPA was doing for the four months it took to post its NSPS to the Federal Register, since the rule remains just as destructive and ill-conceived as it was in September,” said ACCCE President and CEO Mike Duncan.

Mike continued to say: “Contrary to claims made by EPA and other Administration officials, NSPS is just another step in President Obama’s dangerous climate change campaign that’s putting America’s energy future in jeopardy.”

What’s so troubling about this dangerous path forward is how hard these proposed rules will hit our coal communities.

Earlier this week, Bill Bissett, the President of the Kentucky Coal Association, spoke to a local Chamber of Commerce about the importance of coal for Kentuckians.

He noted that more than 90 percent of Kentucky’s electricity is generated by coal, and because of that, Kentucky has one of the lowest electricity rates in the country.

If the EPA has its way, states like Kentucky that count on could see more coal jobs disappear and face much higher energy costs.

That’s why we’re shining a spotlight on the Kentucky Coal Association and the work they do to ensure that the people of Kentucky have reliable and affordable energy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can’t win this fight without you.  Along with our member companies and other coal associations, we need your support to tell the EPA that Americans count on coal.

Please take a moment to sign our letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to let her know you want to protect American energy jobs from overreaching ill-conceived policies.

Add you name to our letter. Help all of us protect coal jobs and coal communities.


Why We’re All Counting on Coal

With temperatures dropping across the U.S., our families and friends are counting on reliable and affordable energy to keep them warm.

It’s no surprise that the demand for energy to heat homes is on the rise.

This week’s cold weather serves to remind us just how important it is to have reliable energy we can count on.

Other fuel sources are experiencing price spikes and strains in supplies in many areas, while the affordable electricity from coal, one of our most abundant domestic energy resources, is keeping the lights on.  Take a look at the below to see how coal stacks up against other fuel sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is having a Twitter Chat

Earlier this week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asked that everyone stop talking about how potential regulations cost hard working Americans their jobs. We think it’s important to talk about the impacts of the potential EPA regulations and leaders on both sides of the political divide agree.

Today at 12:30 PM ET, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is hosting her first Twitter Chat. We’ll be asking her some questions and we think you should too. To ask a question, sign into twitter and tweet your questions to @GinaEPA using the hashtag #‎AskGinaEPA. If you’re not on Twitter, you can still participate by going to http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2013/08/askginaepa-about-climate-change/ and leaving your questions in the comments section.


It’s Not About Politics, It’s About People

When it comes to protecting American coal workers, our families and our communities, one thing is clear: it’s not about politics.

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of 22 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to put potential EPA regulations above the people they would impact the most.

“We ask that you stand with our constituents, our coal miners, and our coal communities by rejecting these proposed NSPS greenhouse gas regulations to reflect the true commercial realities of different fuel types and control technologies. Staying the present course will only prove disastrous: increasing unemployment, raising costs for American families and businesses and reducing our energy security.” 

It was also announced this week that a delegation from West Virginia will be sending 17 people, including Democratic state legislators and union and business leaders to Washington, D.C. to fight to protect our coal communities.

Larry Puccio, chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said it perfectly: “This is not about politics. It’s about people in West Virginia. We want to support our people.”

This isn’t just about West Virginia, though. It’s about 760,000 American coal miners, construction workers, railroad operators, utility workers and their families. It’s about American families and businesses that rely on affordable and reliable electricity every day.