Charleston, W.Va. – In submitted comments to the House Ways & Means Committee, which is holding a Congressional Field Hearing today in Petersburg, W.Va., the West Virginia Coal Association laid blame for high energy costs and unreliable supply at the feet of anti-coal/anti-fossil fuel Democratic leaders and offered policy proposals to ensure our nation’s electric grid remains stable and resilient.
In remarks, Chris Hamilton, President of the West Virginia Coal Association, stated:
“You will find a common thread listening to our residents, workers and companies doing business here in West Virginia. Supply chain disruptions, soaring home heating bills, the high price of gasoline at the pumps and a seemingly never-ending global energy crisis reflect one thing: misguided energy policies from Washington, D.C…”
“…Unfortunately, our coal mining families know this from experience. An all-out bureaucratic "war on coal" from the Obama-Biden Administration needlessly eliminated thousands of mining jobs in the nation's coalfields by prematurely closing coal-fired power plants and obstructing permits for new mining operations. The nation's electric system has never recovered from these actions, with power grids suddenly unable to deal with periods of high energy demand, like the bomb cyclone during Christmas week 2022 (Winter Storm Elliott). Likewise, some of our mining areas and regions are struggling to survive and recover years after the social fabric of their communities were devastated by the reckless elimination of coal jobs.”
“…Except for the four years of Republican control, today's miners have been villainized for the biggest part of two decades now and wake up every day to a barrage of negative comments from this federal administration and national Democrat leaders.”
As part of the submitted comments, the West Virginia Coal Association offered a recommended platform of issues or action items for Congress to consider addressing the cost and reliability of American energy.
Leading the list of recommendations is the creation of a “Baseload Reliability Tax Credit”. Federal legislation should be advanced to incentivize and extend the same level of tax credits to coal-fired electric generation that wind and solar currently receive. We must preserve the precious base load power that comes from West Virginia’s nine base load power plants and incentivize these critical power generating assets to improve their efficiency and reduce carbon output.
Other action items include: Stopping USEPA's Regulatory Assault on Fossil Energy; Enhancing Rail Service Oversight; Reining in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Implementing a Federal Coal Leasing Program; and Expanding Coal Exports.
To view the full list of recommendations, or to access the Association’s full commentary, click here.