Year-end Membership Report 2014
Industry-Focused Education, Networking & Advocacy
December 22, 2014
As 2014 comes to a close, the American Coal Council staff sends greetings of the holiday season and best wishes for a successful New Year. Your membership and participation in the ACC is valued and appreciated.
Under the leadership of ACC President Danny Gray of Charah, Inc., and against the backdrop of weak coal markets and continuing policy and regulatory challenges, ACC had a full and productive year of coal education, outreach, and advocacy work. The “polar vortex” impacts to natural gas and electricity markets last winter provided an opportunity to heighten awareness and reinforce the value of the essential role of coal in reliable, affordable electricity in America. EPA’s roll-out of proposed rules for limiting carbon emissions from new and existing coal generating units engaged the coal sector and scores of concerned energy and electricity stakeholders far beyond it. With the 2014 mid-term election results, there is opportunity to build on the broad support for coal as a critical component of a diverse U.S. energy mix driven by robust markets as opposed to excessive regulation.
Below is a brief review of 2014 activities and accomplishments, and some highlights of what to look forward to in 2015.
- ACC welcomed 19 new members this year, an outstanding accomplishment achieved with the support and involvement of our Membership Committee led by Mike Siebers of Peabody Energy. We appreciate the recognition of the importance and relevance of our activities and programs by these new members joining the organization.
- ACC advocacy initiatives continued to expand:
- We participated in the regulatory arena on EPA’s proposed carbon rules for new and existing electric power sector units/plants under Clean Air Act Section 111(b) and 111(d), respectively.
I testified at EPA public hearings in Washington, DC on the new plant rule in February and on the existing plant rule in July. ACC’s written comments on the new plant rule were filed in May and on the existing plant rule in November. We have a repository for these and prior EPA testimonies and filings on our website at www.americancoalcouncil.org.
We continued the well-received “ACC Advocacy Alerts” to encourage more active industry advocacy by coal and energy stakeholders.
We increased engagement with government and other industry stakeholder groups. In May, I was approved by the Secretary of Energy for membership in the National Coal Council (NCC). NCC is a federal advisory committee to the Secretary, providing advice on coal industry issues. Membership has the added benefit of engaging with ACC’s former CEO Janet Gellici and participation in NCC’s committee work.
We engaged with major industry organizations including National Mining Association, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Coal Utilization Research Council, American Coal Ash Association, Women’s Mining Coalition, and others including the Department of Energy and the U.S. Energy Association. More broadly, we interacted with the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, a large coalition led by the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched in January 2014 to advocate for reasonable GHG regulations.
- ACC’s Associate Director, Jason Hayes and I received numerous requests to speak at various coal and energy conferences and events on policy and regulatory issues and advocacy efforts. Some of the groups addressed were the American Coal Ash Association, COAL-GEN, Colorado Energy Forum, Mississippi Valley Trade & Transport Council, National Coal Transportation Association, North Carolina Coal Institute, POWER-GEN, and Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute.
- Our publications program was improved and expanded in 2014 to extend ACC’s reach in providing information to industry stakeholders, policymakers, and elected officials.
- Our bi-annual print magazine, American Coal, received increased distribution including delivery to all 535 members of Congress. The magazine features content on domestic and global markets, public policy, regulatory, environmental, and technology issues and it is an important component of our education and advocacy work.
- We implemented the new ACCLive digital platform, which hosts the online version of our magazine, and increased the frequency of our public electronic newsletter from quarterly to bi-monthly. We rolled out the “ACC Live” mobile platform for smartphones and tablets which provides easy access to the digital version of our magazine as well as our electronic newsletters, Buyers’ Guide, and our social media sites and Coalblog.
- We continued ACC’s excellent educational programming. On-site conference events included the Spring Coal Forum, Coal Market Strategies, and the jointly-hosted Coal Trading Conference. Our new hotel venues were well-received, and in 2015 we’ll return to the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah for Coal Market Strategies and the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City for the Coal Trading Conference.
Our monthly Coal Q&A webcast series remains popular and well-attended. We feature presenters from industry, academia, and government, as well as non-governmental organizations covering a variety of timely topics on marketplace, policy, regulatory, and technology issues. Note the webcasts are free to members as a member benefit and are archived in the “Members” portion of the ACC website.
- Our leadership development program for emerging coal sector leaders, the Tomorrows Leadership Council (TLC), continues to draw participation from across the coal value chain. We were pleased that SNL wrote an article about this program in July and that 2014 TLC members Brian Kopp of Black & Veatch and Erik Dopper of United Bulk Terminals participated in interviews for the article.
If our TLC participants over the years are an indicator of the strength of the future leadership of the coal sector, we’re in good hands!
The 2014 TLC group focused its annual project on “Changing the Narrative and Moving Beyond our Challenges”. Last week they presented an overview of their project report in the December Coal Q&A webcast. Their comprehensive report covers the economic value and contributions of coal including coal as a means of human betterment, environmental issues associated with coal, and opposition to coal. The report will be posted in the “Members” section of our website.
- ACC’s committees continued to meet regularly, primarily via conference calls. The Communications Committee is made up of participants reflecting the ACC’s diverse membership base. The Committee serves as a sounding board for the ACC staff and Board of Directors, and is intended to enhance our advocacy and stakeholder education initiatives. The Coal 2.0 Alliance, which focuses on advancing the development and utilization of prior-to-combustion Engineered Coal Fuels (ECF), continued activity via conference calls. ECF members continued industry outreach efforts in communicating the benefits of ECF by distributing ECF brochures at industry events and conferences. If you have interest in participating in these committees or would like more information, contact me, or Jason Hayes at email@example.com.
ACC in 2015
- Advocacy will continue to be a significant focus, and other components of a strategic plan for 2015 will be addressed by our Board of Directors at a meeting in January.
- Please mark your calendars for our major 2015 on-site conference events (see Events section of www.americancoalcouncil.org):
- Spring Coal Forum: March 3-5, Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL
- Coal Market Strategies: August 10-12, Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, UT
- Coal Trading Conference: December 7-8, Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
- Registrations for our annual leadership development program, Tomorrows Leadership Council, are now being accepted. We’re approaching 100 “graduates” from over 40 companies since the program’s inception several years ago. We have participants already registered from a number of companies across the coal value chain, and we’re excited about some new ideas and plans for the 2015 group. Information and registration is at: www.americancoalcouncil.org/?tlc
Thank you for your membership in the American Coal Council (ACC). Membership dues invoices for 2015 were emailed to primary member contacts in early December. If you have not received your dues invoice, please contact me. Invoices are due and payable by January 22nd, and payment by that date ensures your listing in the ACC’s 2015 Membership Directory.
Your support of the ACC is greatly appreciated, and we hope you’ll continue to partner with us in 2015. Please visit our website (www.americancoalcouncil.org) often for information on the latest ACC activities, initiatives, and conferences. We also encourage you to follow the Coalblog (www.coalblog.org) and to engage with us on social media.
Chief Executive Officer
American Coal Council