ACC CEO statement at 11-7-13 EPA listening session in DC

Originally posted to the ACC website

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EPA Listening Session Washington, DC November 7, 2013

Monseu Statement (3 minutes)

My name is Betsy Monseu, and I am CEO of the American Coal Council (ACC). The ACC has been in existence for 31 years and represents the collective business interests of the American coal industry. This ranges from mining companies and suppliers, to transportation companies and terminals, to electric utilities and industrial coal consumers, as well as many industry support services providers.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak today about the EPA’s plan for regulating carbon dioxide from America’s coal-fueled power plants. The ACC is concerned about the detrimental impacts of any such regulations to American consumers, manufacturers, and other businesses.

Coal is responsible for 40% of U.S electric generation, more than any other fuel source. It provides good jobs – over 800,000 direct and indirect jobs. It provides reliable, low cost electricity. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, electricity costs are generally fifty percent lower in states that rely on coal for more than half of their electricity generation, versus those that rely on other fuels.

Energy policy and EPA guidelines must recognize the importance of coal in an “all-of-the-above” energy mix for America. It is imperative to the health of our economy and to robust, competitive energy markets that the existing coal generation fleet not be stranded. Emissions from coal-fueled plants have decreased by nearly 90% since the early 1970s. And tens of billions of dollars are being spent now to upgrade existing coal plants to meet EPA standards that are even more stringent. States need flexibility to accommodate the continued use of coal. Reasonable timeframes must be provided for developing and implementing emissions reduction plans.

DOE programs for federal investments in technologies to reduce emissions have played an essential role for decades, and that role should continue for carbon reduction. Making the necessary investments in technologies that are demonstrated to work and are commercially available should be promoted – not abandoned, threatened, or sidelined. EPA should also remove barriers to efficiency improvements at coal-fueled plants.

Ultimately, the course taken by the U.S. will not meaningfully impact global greenhouse gas emissions. Our coal fleet accounts for only 3% of such emissions, and EIA estimates global coal use will grow by about 40% by 2035. Emerging economies will electrify and they will continue to choose low cost, abundant coal for doing so.

So why gamble with higher electricity prices and job loss here in America? Why reduce our energy diversity and security? Why diminish our ability to compete in world markets, or negatively impact our technological lead in clean energy generation?

In closing, we suggest EPA expand its listening sessions to include coal producing states, and states most reliant on coal generation. These are most at risk from reductions in coal use and rising energy prices.

Thank you for your attention.

15. November 2013 by Jason Hayes
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