CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ In response to the launch of a natural gas industry-led initiative to replace coal with natural gas to purportedly assist our European allies, the West Virginia Coal Association called the organization’s mission “irresponsible” and “counter to the welfare of European citizens and the global and US economies”.
Chris Hamilton, President of the West Virginia Coal Association said, “Our European allies are struggling to acquire the fuel they’ll need for consumer home heating and industrial purposes. They require all means necessary – coal, gas and intermittent sources – to power their economies for the foreseeable future. Calling for the eradication of coal is nothing more than a political hook on their part to incentivize gas pipeline development in America.”
On October 11, a group of natural gas production and transmission companies – led by EQT, TC Energy and Williams Company, launched an initiative (the Partnership to Address Global Emissions) with the goal to “replace foreign coal with a reliable, affordable supply of cleaner U.S. natural gas”.
“The United States has the ability to develop both coal and gas for domestic and international use and Americans should not tolerate one industry working to replace the other,” said Hamilton. “Frankly, unlike natural gas, the infrastructure to mine, transport and ship coal is already in place. The world needs America’s high quality thermal and metallurgical coals for power generation and steel making. The European Union is working to replace upwards of 45 m/tons of Russian coal and American coal is tailor-made for Europe’s electric generation facilities and coking ovens.”
“Also, as recent world events clearly demonstrate, coal is the only base fuel for power generation that can withstand acts of terrorism and provide around-the-clock reliable energy and enhanced national security."
The West Virginia Coal Association is supportive of an all-of-the-above energy strategy but believes the United States should not trade one energy job for another or unnecessarily shorten the life of these foundational contributors to our economy and industrial job base.
According to a recent study by the Bureau of Business and Economics Research at West Virginia University, the nation's coal industry accounts for 371,000 high paying jobs across Americas heartland and contributes $261 billion dollars into the national economy.
For additional information, contact Chris Hamilton at (304) 342-4153.