These days, finding an issue where Republicans and Democrats agree is no easy task, but yesterday a bipartisan group of state Attorneys General joined together to call on the administration to protect American jobs and keep our energy costs low.
What brought the AGs from 21 states and two parties together?
Certain states and Washington D.C. are working in conjunction with environmental groups to pressure the EPA into issuing rushed regulations as part of a court settlement rather than through an open and deliberative process.
Criticizing the “sue and settle” tactic, the 21 AGs who signed the letter wrote: “Appropriate process should not be subjugated, and effective policy making cannot be forced to fruition, by threatening litigation.”
These 21 Attorneys General just want to see energy policy made correctly, and we don’t think that’s too much to ask of the administration:
State of South Carolina
State of Alabama
John J Burns
State of Alaska
State of Arkansas
State of Arizona
Samuel S. Olens
State of Georgia
Leonardo M. Rapadas
State of Kansas
James D. “Buddy” Caldwell
State of Louisiana
State of Michigan
Jon C. Bruning
State of Nebraska
State of North Dakota
State of Ohio
E Scott Pruitt
State of Oklahoma
William H. Ryan, Jr.
State of Pennsylvania
Marty J. Jackley
State of South Dakota
State of Texas
State of Utah
State of Virginia
Gregory A. Phillips
State of Wyoming
Today we want say “thank you” to U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield and Kentucky State Rep. Jim Gooch who are standing with Kentucky’s 14,000 plus coal miners.
In an op-ed published last Friday, Reps. Whitfield and Gooch shine a much-needed spotlight on a planned anti-coal protest in Louisville later this week.
The group planning the protest, who is supported by the Sierra Club, has one goal: to destroy the jobs and benefits Kentuckians enjoy thanks to the coal industry.
Coal-fueled plants generate 92 percent of Kentucky’s electricity. The protest group would see these plants shut down and energy prices skyrocket as a result of the drastic decrease in energy supply.
What’s more troubling than this protest group trying to influence Kentucky’s energy policy is that they stand in support of a rule that wasn’t created by elected officials with public input, but rather by the EPA who wouldn’t just hinder new plant creation, but could target existing plants if they get their way.
At a time when coal generated electricity production is increasing around the world, we need strong leaders like Reps. Whitfield and Gooch to stand against this plan to destroy Kentucky jobs and raise energy costs for Kentucky families.
In this tough economy, Nevada must produce electricity at a price families and small businesses can afford.
One bill, SB 123, being considered right now by the Nevada State Assembly, would increase utility rates across Nevada and guarantee higher profits for NV Energy, the state’s biggest utility. Additionally, SB 123 would require ratepayers like you to foot the bill for both replacement power plants and the idle power plants that will be shut down early.
Worse, the bill would undercut consumer protections by circumventing the normal approval process at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.
Read the Las Vegas Review Journal’s editorial on the bill and if you’re a Nevada resident, call your State Assemblyman today and urge them to vote NO on SB 123. Thank you for your support!
On Monday, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unveiled new legislation that would require the EPA to expedite the process for coal companies seeking permits to open new mines, as covered by the Associated Press. U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) plans to introduce similar legislation in the House next week.
McConnell’s “Coal Jobs Protection Act” is a promising step in protecting the coal industry from what he asserts is EPA action beyond its “scope of authority” by making the permitting process for coal mines more burdensome, The Hill noted.
“Coal is a vital part of my state’s economy, and a vital part of America’s energy portfolio,” McConnell said. “The EPA’s attack on this important Kentucky industry hampers the growth of jobs, and it especially hampers the growth of small business — the greatest engine of job creation.”
McConnell clearly recognizes the importance of coal in keeping our nation’s economy strong, providing good jobs to hard-working Americans, and preserving access to affordable and reliable energy. In his own state of Kentucky, over 4,000 coal industry jobs have been lost – a drop of nearly 30 percent – prompting action through this new legislative measure.
Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana requested President Obama to urge the EPA to differentiate the standards based on fuel type and establish supercritical coal generation technology as the performance standard for new coal-based technology.
“Our nation can continue to use coal and continue to lower emissions at the sametime. Coal-based power generation projects are being developed across the country, using state-of-the-art technologies that are laying the foundation for revolutionary advancements in power plant efficiency and reduced CO2 levels.
These advancements in technology are allowing us to modernize the existing coal-fueled fleet improving efficiency and reducing emissions, while continuing to produce low-cost electricity for homes, offices and factories.”
Adopting the proposed regulations would have the effect of preventing existing plants from making upgrades that would allow for more electricity generation with less fuels and fewer emissions, the senators wrote.
“Aside from imposing brutally expensive regulations affecting electricity production, such as the $9.6 billion Utility MACT Rule and other punitive measures against coal power, the EPA was roundly criticized for considering ways to implement, through administrative fiat, failed legislation to impose a cap-and-trade national energy tax.”
The next EPA Administrator needs to understand that it’s best to take a common sense action to protect the environment while not harming American jobs and consumers.
Ultimately, the next head of the EPA needs to fully analyze and understand the full, cumulative economic impacts of its regulations. American jobs are at stake, as well as access to affordable, reliable electricity that is essential to our economic recovery. Let’s hope, at the very least, the next leader of the EPA has these characteristics as part of their personal philosophy.
With 2012 winding down, we’re revisiting some of the hardworking Americans we spoke with throughout the year about the importance of affordable electricity.
Glen Lyn, Virginia: a post office and a power plant. Due to EPA regulations the life blood of this community will be closing in 2015. In a town reliant on jobs from the coal-based electricity industry, job cuts will devastate the community.
Local Pastor Shahn Wilburn fears the negative impacts this will have on the town. “You’ll have displaced families. It takes the hope away from children,” he says.
Glen Lyn’s town manager, J. Howard Spencer, talks about how the EPA will simply waste 200 to 300 years worth of coal in Glen Lyn. Not only will the coal in Glen Lyn help keep energy costs low but it will protect American jobs, which is crucial in this economy.
Coal is vital to communities like Glen Lyn and many others around the country. As Pastor Wilburn says, “This might be an idea that looks good on paper but when it translates down to people and lives it has an adverse effect.”
It’s no secret – the EPA’s poorly conceived regulations against coal-fueled energy will cause the cost of living to go up and take away hundreds of thousands of Americans jobs. A recent report by the National Association of Manufacturers found that just three regulations to be enforced by the EPA, including the Utility MACT rule, will cost the industry $1.5billion each year.
When the EPA stifles the coal industry, American families suffer. Does the EPA not realize that by enforcing these rules they are in fact hurting the economy?
It’s time to end this tireless war on the coal-based electricity industry. The EPA must stop picking winners and losers. It is time to end this tireless war on the coal industry.
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...
Read Full Biography +
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...
Read Full Biography +
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...
Read Full Biography +
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.
We encourage commenting and discussion on Behind the Plug, but we ask that you refrain from comments that are:
spam or hawking a product;
abusive, defamatory or obscene
fraudulent, deceptive or misleading;
in violation of any law or regulation; or
otherwise offensive (graphically or in tone).
Please note that ACCCE is not responsible for the accuracy of opinions, claims, advice or other information shared here by ACCCE fans.