Friday, April 26, 2019

Senators Yaw, Yudichak, Reps Metzgar, Snyder To Co-Chair Legislative Coal Caucus

On April 26, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) along with Rep. Carl Metzgar (R-Somerset) and Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Fayette) announced they will serve as Co-Chairs for the Legislative Coal Caucus during the 2019-2020 Session.
The Coal Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative caucus that focuses on supporting and enhancing Pennsylvania’s coal mining industry.  The caucus serves as a forum through which legislators can become more educated about the coal industry and its significant economic value to local communities, manufacturers, and energy ratepayers.
“Our coal industry has faced some serious headwinds due, in large part, to costly and burdensome federal and state mandates over the years,” Sen. Yaw said.  “These mandates have had a tremendous impact on our miners, their families and our communities that depend on a strong coal economy. It is critical that we present a unified voice for the industry, our miners and these communities moving forward, and I am happy to join with my colleagues to advocate on their behalf.”
Pennsylvania is the third largest coal producing state in the United States with production totaling over 48 million tons in 2018.   Pennsylvania coal in addition to being used for power generation, is used to produce steel and cement.
“Pennsylvania has a long history in coal production and remains the third largest coal producing state in the nation,” said Sen. John Yudichak. “As the son and grandson of anthracite coal miners, I am pleased to join Senator Yaw and Representatives Metzger and Snyder to continue the discussion on the role coal plays in Pennsylvania.”
Bituminous coal mining helps drive Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting nearly 18,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, while contributing $4 billion annually to the state’s economy.
The coal industry provides family-sustaining wages and creates this economic value in communities across Pennsylvania, with multiple company locations in more than half of our counties.  
The industry accounts for 25 percent of the employment in some regions, up to 40 percent of the local tax base, and often serves as a community’s financial cornerstone for economic development.
“Coal remains a crucial resource that is directly tied to the economic vitality of our local communities,” said Rep. Carl Metzgar. “For every direct coal mining job in Pennsylvania nearly two additional jobs are created, and that economic impact can be recognized in everything from local restaurants to auto and truck service providers, to the budgets of local school districts.  I look forward to working with the Co-Chairs and the caucus to promote innovative policy that further strengths the economic benefits of the coal industry.”
Coal continues to be an essential source of power generation both in Pennsylvania and the 13 state PJM interconnection.  In 2018, coal accounted for 20 percent of the power generated in Pennsylvania, and 29 percent of the power generated in the PJM.   
During periods of high demand, coal plants are consistently relied upon when other generation sources are diverted or are not available for generation.
“Coal’s availability as a baseload generation source is unparalleled given its affordability, flexibility, reliability and resiliency,” said Rep. Pam Snyder.  “Nearly 60 percent of the bituminous coal produced in Pennsylvania is used to generate electricity, and the majority is produced in Greene County. I look forward to working to with the co-Chairs to encourage policies that promote a coal’s role as a baseload power source in a diversified energy generation portfolio.”
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to:   Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7105 or sending email to:
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