Obama Energy Strategy Falls Short of Rhetoric
The head of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA) said President Obama needs
some major retooling of the environmental strategy he announced in a policy
address on June 25, 2013 if he wants the United States to continue to be the
world’s standard setter on clean energy solutions.
"In recent decades, the coal industry has made major strides in reducing
pollution," said John Pippy, CEO of the Coal Alliance, said in the wake of the
President’s policy speech at Georgetown University. He noted that advances in
technology have enabled new, coal-fueled power plants to be substantially more
efficient, with the typical new plant producing 70 to 80 percent fewer
conventional emissions than the older plant it replaces.
Pippy said global coal usage trends will make it the world’s No. 1 energy source
within the next three to four years. He called the proposed Obama policy to
decimate coal usage "shortsighted and destructive to the nation’s fragile
"There are tens of thousands of good-paying jobs at stake here," he noted.
"We’re talking about shutting down plants and generating capacity at a time when
many parts of the electric grid are stressed and vulnerable. We’re talking
about increasing the price of electricity for businesses and individuals."
He said a plan that applies only to the U.S. cannot constitute a solution to
global greenhouse gas emissions and would amount to unilateral economic
disarmament with limited environmental benefit.
He credited the President with recognizing the challenge by proposing an $8
billion loan guarantee fund for "advanced fossil fuel energy," but he cautioned
that a real solution also will require a more reasonable standard aligned with
the performance of the best currently available technology.
(The views expressed here are those of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance and not
necessarily those of The Susquehanna Valley Center.)
Nothing contained here should be considered as an attempt to aid or hinder the
passage of any legislation.
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