Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PA Coal Alliance Warns House Committee Of Environmental Overreach By EPA

Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO, John Pippy warned the House Environmental Energy and Resources Committee Tuesday against the effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan on Pennsylvania’s jobs, electric rates and economy at a hearing this morning.
The rule will dictate the makeup of Pennsylvania’s electric generation mix, the amount of electricity available on a round-the-clock basis and the price in 2020 and beyond, affecting not just the coal industry, but Pennsylvania’s residents statewide.
An economic study by the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh showed that the state’s coal industry supports 36,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and adds more than $4.5 billion annually to the state’s economy.
Although touted by proponents as a flexible and achievable way to curb carbon emissions, the proposed federal power plant emission standards are merely a de facto attempt to transform America’s energy usage away from coal.
According to Pennsylvania DEP, CO2 emissions from Pennsylvania’s electric generating fleet declined by 12 percent from 2005-2012 and are projected to decline by 22 percent from 2005 through 2020.
These reductions were accomplished while Pennsylvania maintained a stable and reliable supply of electricity at competitively-priced rates, lower than the national average and lowest among its northeastern states.
Coal accounts for 40 percent of the electric market in Pennsylvania providing a stable base load supply of electricity year round and especially during peak usage times as experienced this past winter.
“Given the affordability and reliability of coal as a source of electricity, this regulatory attempt to displace coal will have profound and sweeping consequences, not just on the coal industry and its workers, but also on those communities that host coal-fired power plants, those employed at these facilities and every ratepayer who depends upon the reliable provisioning of electricity at competitive rates,” Pippy said.
The proposed standards would have virtually no impact on global greenhouse gas emissions and could even cause an increase because they would essentially kill any continued advancement in clean coal technology.
U.S. power plants account for only 4 percent of global carbon emissions, while China and India alone account for 20 percent.  They, and other developing countries are increasing their reliance on coal and it is predicted that by 2017 coal will be the number one source of energy in the world.
Pippy concluded by commending the Committee and the full House for its overwhelming support for House Bill 2354 (Snyder-D-Fayette) which, among other things, would require the state legislature to approve a state’s compliance plan before it is submitted to the EPA.
House Bill 2354 is now in the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

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