CoalBlue pushing for black gold

MORE than 400 pro-coal public officials and legislators from the Democratic party, including several from the nation’s coal hotbeds including Wyoming, Kentucky and West Virginia, are making a push for US President Obama to advance coal technologies that would keep it a part of the US energy scene.
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Obama's energy policy is widely referred to as anti-coal.

Donna Schmidt

The group, known as CoalBlue, has inked a letter to the Obama Administration – signed off by 410 elected representatives and another 26 state representatives and senators and other public servants – to push coal production and new utilisation technologies instead of restricting it.

“As Democrats dedicated to a prosperous America and a clean environment, we encourage the adoption of policies within the framework of your clean energy agenda that accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable coal,” the letter said.

“We write to you not as representatives of any industry or special interest, but as elected representatives of the American people and as members and leaders of the Democratic Party.”

CoalBlue has called itself a “broad, bipartisan, and unwavering commitment to coal as a sustainable fuel” that advocated the “accelerated development and deployment” of coal technologies.

“To achieve a clean energy future, we must develop energy resources that are abundant, affordable and reliable, yet have minimal impact on the environment,” the group said in its communication to the White House.

“Sustainable coal will help attain a greater balance between worldwide demands for energy that derive from economic and societal advances, and the obligation to deliver a clean, enduring environment for future generations.”

CoalBlue is asking Obama and his administration to examining a clean energy agenda that is a “realistic assessment of coal’s inevitable place” in the future of America.

It also cited the President’s own words from May, when the commander-in-chief said that the nation must deal with environmental concerns and challenges in an “honest, realistic way”

“We could not agree more, and the realities of domestic and global energy supply and demand tell us that coal will be a central and essential source of energy, both at home and abroad, for decades to come,” the signers said.

“From a policy perspective, there is no realistic path forward to a clean, low-carbon world that does not include clean, low-carbon coal. Thus, the sustainable coal agenda is not only compatible with your clean energy and climate agenda, it is essential to it.”

Another push by CoalBlue is to pressure the administration into uncoiling the strict US Environmental Protection Agency proposals that would place severe restrictions on power plant carbon dioxide emissions – essentially making any new power plant project impossible to see come to pass.

Among the many signers were high-profile pro-coal legislators including US Senate candidate and West Virginia secretary of state Natalie Tennant; former Wyoming governors Dave Freudenthal and Mike Sullivan; Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway and state House of Representatives majority leader Rocky Adkins; West Virginia Democratic party chairman Larry Puccio and state House of Delegates speaker Tim Miley; former Indiana House of Representatives majority leader Russ Stilwell; and West Virginia House of Delegates majority leader Harry Keith White.