Mixed reaction to American coal act(AP) — The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity praised the passage of the “Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012,” which was voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. Others were not ready to praise the act.
(AP) — The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity praised the passage of the “Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012,” which was voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. Others were not ready to praise the act.
The act combined existing bills that received bipartisan support in the House and would ensure that Environmental Protection Agency regulations are balanced and sensible, according to a statement released by ACCCE President and CEO Mike Duncan.
“Today’s vote was an important signal to voters about which members of Congress are fighting to protect coal and the jobs it provides,” he said in the release. “The EPA’s war on coal is threatening more than 1.5 million jobs, many of which are in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.”
But not everyone was pleased with the passage of the legislation. Locally, Mary Hodell, a spokeswoman for a group called Neighbors United, which was formed in opposition to a proposed coal plant near South Heart, said more coal mining is generally not a good thing.
“My family farm is a third-generation farm,” Hodell said. “My family and many others in this area don’t want to see our groundwater contaminated and we don’t want the environmental problems associated with the coal industry. The news today is disappointing.”
North Dakota Public Service Commissioner and Republican U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer said Friday that anti-coal policies are a detriment to the state’s bottom line.
“Since Barack Obama became president, there has definitely been a war on the coal industry,” Cramer said. “Coal produces an affordable, reliable source of energy and North Dakota produces over 30 million tons of lignite coal every year.
“We’re the sixth-leading electricity exporting state in the country and the coal industry has a $3 billion yearly impact on our state’s economy. Over-reaching restrictions on this industry are bad for the people of our state.”
Cramer said it’s imperative that North Dakota keeps a vibrant coal industry within its borders.
“This act is a vitally important piece of legislation, putting a halt to the Democrats’ ideological war on fossil fuels,” Cramer said. “Each state should be able to regulate its own industries. A one-size-fits-all federal policy just doesn’t work. We have 27,000 jobs in North Dakota due to the coal industry and it would be devastating to lose those.”
In his statement, Duncan echoed Cramer’s sentiments on the jobs created by the industry.
“This week we learned that more than 200 coal-based generating units, enough to power the state of Ohio, are being forced to shut down because of EPA regulations. This is devastating for communities, but for the EPA it’s ‘business as usual,’” he said.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal.