The head of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA) today said President Obama needs some major retooling of the environmental strategy he announced in a policy address today 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 today 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 economic recovery."
"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.
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.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Coal Alliance