June 2008: From the Beltway & Beyond
Janet Gellici, CAE – Chief Executive Officer – American Coal Council
Welcome to the inaugural newsletter column – From the Beltway & Beyond. In each future issue of the ACC’s Members’ Update, I’ll be reporting to you on recent noteworthy activities in which I’m participating in fulfillment of ACC’s two core objectives to:
- Enhance the business, marketing & management capabilities of our members.
- Advocate for coal as an economic, abundant/secure & environmentally sound fuel source.
While my activities don’t quite rival those of Buzz Lightyear’s “To Infinity & Beyond”, they certainly do involve many meetings and events inside Washington, D.C.’s infamous beltway and beyond. In May, for example, my DC-based activities included:
- Meeting with a company that uses web-based technologies to advance grassroots initiatives – http://www.grassroots.com/ – to discuss opportunities for enhancing the ACC’s advocacy and educational efforts. We’re in the formative stages of redesigning our web site to meet the ever-increasing need for energy education. You’ll be hearing more from us on this in the coming months and have an opportunity to provide us with your thoughts and suggestions.
- Attending a Capitol Hill “briefing” by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on their opposition to the development of coal-to-liquids capacity in the U.S. The briefing included a rollout of NRDC’s video entitled “Crude Substitute: The Folly of Liquid Coal” – featuring former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander. In pursuit of more Hollywood award recognition, the video is reportedly being submitted to numerous film festivals for consideration.
- Meeting with Robert Ferguson, President of the Science & Public Policy Institute to discuss opportunities for ACC and SPPI to work together. SPPI is a research and education organization dedicated to sound public policy based on sound science, most recently focused on climate change and mercury. We’ll be featuring some of their information on our web site and in future ACC magazines and newsletters.
- Attending a meeting of the Cooler Heads Coalition, an ad hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific and risk analysis.
My “Beyond the Beltway” activities in May were far ranging and included:
- Attending a meeting of the National Coal Council’s Coal Policy Committee in St. Louis regarding the NCC’s latest study – The Urgency of Sustainable Coal. The study, which details how coal can be used to meet our nation’s future energy and environmental objectives, was released to U.S. Secretary of Energy Bodman on May 22nd and will be available on the NCC web site shortly
- Making a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the PRB Users Group’s, on “PRB Coal Markets: Butterfly Implications of Global & Domestic Energy Dynamics”. I shared the stage in Baltimore with Andy Blumenfeld (Arch Coal), Doug Glass (UP Railroad) and Tom Canter (NCTA).
- Keynoting the Indiana Coal Mining Institute’s Annual Dinner Meeting in Evansville, Indiana on the topic of Coal is Here to Stay.
- Speaking at the ACES Power Marketing Members Conference in Indianapolis on the topic of The Struggle to Site & Build New Coal-Fueled Generation.
- Participating in the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Annual Workshop on Ideas, Issues & Policies in Freeport, Grand Bahamas. The Workshop focused on “Oil Dependence, National Security & Fuel Choice.” I, along with Ken Nemeth, Executive Director of the Southern States Energy Board represented coal’s role in meeting our nation’s future energy needs in relation to reducing our reliance on petroleum and foreign oil.The invitational workshop was attended by 30 senior level industry executives, government and international scientific community representatives as well as energy and financial media, representing interests from the national security/intelligence, defense, finance, biofuels, renewables and automotive communities. The two-and-a-half days of discussion were often heated and certainly informative.
My presentation on “The Urgency of Sustainable Coal” keyed off the findings from the most recent NCC report and focused on advantages of coal-to-liquids conversion, clean coal generation to fuel plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and CO2 used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The text of my presentation, along with a more detailed report on the FDD Workshop is available in the Members’ Only section of the ACC web site.
I’ve been invited to submit a chapter on coal’s role in meeting our national security needs for a monograph FDD is preparing as a follow up report to the Freeport Workshop. That report will be published in late summer – details forthcoming in future issues of From the Beltway & Beyond.
So, there’s a quick round up on my activities for the past month. Future articles will be more focused and detailed on key activities; just wanted to give you some idea of the range of things I’m working on on your behalf. I would welcome and appreciate your comments on this column and what I’ve been involved in. Your membership and input are valued.