Year-end Membership Report 2015
Industry-Focused Education, Networking & Advocacy
December 21, 2015
As the end of 2015 approaches, the American Coal Council staff sends greetings of the holiday season and best wishes for a successful New Year. Your support as members and sponsors of the organization is greatly appreciated. It’s hard to believe that ACC is in its 33rd year of service to the coal industry! That longevity is an organizational strength, providing a firm foundation from which we continue engage a broad stakeholder base including the public, media, policy makers and elected officials, and other trade associations. Our extensive publications, communications, and education programs provide an excellent platform for us to inform, educate, and advocate for coal. We value your involvement in the ACC. It is a key factor in leveraging our efforts to the greatest extent possible.
The leadership of ACC President Rob Hardman of Dynegy and the commitment of our Board of Directors has been important in guiding our 2015 efforts as the coal sector continues to undergo change and restructuring and contend with weak markets. The aggressive pace of federal regulatory actions has continued, and ACC has been involved in combating these actions. Policy being set by regulation rather than legislation threatens not only coal but every other sector of the economy. EPA’s GHG/carbon emissions regulations for the power sector, EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, the Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Stream Protection Rule, and EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Waters of the U.S. Rule are examples of recent regulations that are unprecedented in scope and will have severely detrimental effects to all Americans if implemented.
Below are brief highlights of ACC’s 2015 activities and accomplishments, followed by some things to look forward to in 2016.
- ACC coal advocacy and outreach work continued to expand:
- We prepared and filed written comments in the EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards for NAAQS Ozone rulemaking and in response to the Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Stream Protection Rule. These written filings, along with other statements and testimonies in regulatory proceedings, are available on our website (www.americancoalcouncil.org) in the “Issues and Advocacy” section.
- Our “ACC Advocacy Alerts” continue, providing information on important activities, timelines, and industry studies to get the word out and encourage more active industry advocacy by coal and energy stakeholders.
- It seems as if everyone, including the Pope, had something to say about the use of coal and fossil fuels in 2015. ACC provided statements in response to issues that were subjects of high levels of interest and inquiry, including EPA’s final Clean Power Plan, the Pope’s Encyclical, and the recent Paris COP21 climate discussions. These are posted on our website (www.americancoalcouncil.org) in the “News & Press” section.
- Involvement with other industry stakeholder associations continues. These include the National Coal Council, a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy, as well as National Mining Association, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Coal Utilization Research Council, American Coal Ash Association, Coal Trading Association, National Coal Transportation Association, and Women’s Mining Coalition.
- We continue to have opportunities to engage with students and it’s helpful to hear their varying perspectives on coal. One highlight this year was ACC’s Associate Director Jason Hayes’ Skype collaboration session with students in the University of Tulsa’s graduate level “Perspectives in Energy” course.
- ACC’s membership base remained strong this year. With the involvement of our Membership Committee led by Scott Spears of White Oak Resources, we added 22 new member companies. We appreciate the recognition of the importance and relevance of our mission, activities, and programs by the new members who have joined us.
- We selected a new partner for our publications program, Naylor Association Solutions. A transition from our prior publisher, Lester Publications, began in the spring for our American Coal magazine and our electronic newsletters. The transition is nearly complete and Naylor is currently contacting our members to verify their listings for the publication of our 2016 Membership Directory. We’re pleased by Naylor’s level of engagement with our members, advertisers, and other stakeholders. We appreciate their fresh perspectives on our suite of publications which are an important part of our education and advocacy work.
- ACC’s excellent educational programming continued with our three flagship on-site conference events – Spring Coal Forum, Coal Market Strategies, and the jointly-hosted Coal Trading Conference. With continuing interest in the gulf coast of Florida in the spring, we will return to the popular Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach in March 2016. We have already made plans for Spring Coal Forum 2017 to be held at the beautiful newly-constructed Opal Sands Resort, also in Clearwater Beach. August 2016 will see our return to the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, and we will return to the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City next December for the Coal Trading Conference jointly hosted with the Coal Trading Association. In addition to on-site conferences, we offer our monthly “Coal Q&A” webinar programs which can be accessed easily and conveniently from your office. This popular webinar series features presenters from industry, academia, and government and non-government 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.
- The Tomorrows Leadership Council (TLC), our leadership development program for emerging coal sector leaders, had a stellar year in 2015! There were a record number of program participants and we offered some unique aspects. We were especially gratified that one of our members, retired U.S. Army Colonel Sam Johnson of CONSOL Energy, agreed to lead the TLC’s development seminar held in conjunction with the Coal Market Strategies conference. Sam designed a program called “Military Leadership – Concepts for Coal” for the group. The TLC’s activity level has been quite high this year, and the results of their annual group project certainly reflect that. The project focused on developing a “Coal Communications Kit”, and they recently shared an overview of the project in our December Coal Q&A webcast. They developed a great deal of information geared at responding to myths and misinformation about coal, with tips for approaches to use in conversations, whether face-to-face or via social media. There’s more to come on this, as we plan to share the results of the TLC’s great work in various ways with ACC members and other stakeholders. Also, the TLC’s final report will be posted on our website.
ACC in 2016
- Please mark your calendars for our major 2016 on-site conference events (see Events section of www.americancoalcouncil.org):
- Spring Coal Forum: March 8-10, Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL
- Coal Market Strategies: August 8-10, Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, UT
- Coal Trading Conference: December 5-6, Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
- Registration is open for the 2016 Tomorrows Leadership Council and we have several folks already committed. This program is open to members and non-members, so if you know of good candidates for the program please make them aware of it. There are already well over 110 “graduates” from over 45 companies from the TLC program since it began several years ago. Information and registration is at: www.americancoalcouncil.org/?tlc
- As 2016 is an election year, we anticipate that it will be an especially busy time for education, outreach, and advocacy. We’ll take advantage of opportunities to engage on issues important to coal.
Thank you for your membership in the American Coal Council (ACC). Membership dues invoices for 2016 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 2016 Membership Directory.
Your support of the ACC is greatly appreciated, and your involvement extends our reach and influence. We hope you’ll continue to partner with us in 2016. 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 (http://www.coalblog.org/) and to engage with us on social media.
Chief Executive Officer
American Coal Council