EPA Listening Session
Washington, DC November 7, 2013
Monseu Statement (3 minutes)
My name is Betsy Monseu, and I am CEO of
the American Coal Council (ACC). The ACC has been in existence for 31 years and
represents the collective business interests of the
American coal industry. This ranges from mining companies and suppliers, to
transportation companies and terminals, to electric utilities and industrial
coal consumers, as well as many industry support services providers.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak today
about the EPA’s plan for regulating carbon dioxide from America’s coal-fueled
power plants. The ACC is concerned about the detrimental impacts of any such regulations
to American consumers, manufacturers, and other businesses.
Coal is responsible
for 40% of U.S electric generation, more than any other fuel source. It provides
good jobs - over 800,000 direct and indirect jobs. It provides reliable, low cost
electricity. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, electricity
costs are generally fifty percent lower in states that rely on coal for more than half
of their electricity generation, versus those that rely on other fuels.
Energy policy and EPA guidelines must recognize
the importance of coal in an "all-of-the-above”
energy mix for America. It is imperative to the health of our economy and to
robust, competitive energy markets that the existing coal generation fleet not
be stranded. Emissions from coal-fueled plants have decreased by nearly 90%
since the early 1970s. And tens of billions of dollars are being spent now to
upgrade existing coal plants to meet EPA standards that are even more
stringent. States need flexibility to accommodate the continued use of coal. Reasonable
timeframes must be provided for developing and implementing emissions reduction
DOE programs for federal investments in
technologies to reduce emissions have played an essential role for decades, and
that role should continue for carbon reduction. Making the necessary
investments in technologies that
are demonstrated to work and are commercially available should be promoted - not abandoned, threatened,
or sidelined. EPA should also
remove barriers to efficiency improvements at coal-fueled plants.
Ultimately, the course taken by the U.S. will
not meaningfully impact global greenhouse gas emissions. Our coal fleet
accounts for only 3% of such emissions, and EIA estimates global coal use will grow
by about 40% by 2035. Emerging economies will electrify and they will continue
to choose low cost, abundant coal for doing so.
So why gamble with higher electricity
prices and job loss here in America? Why reduce our energy diversity and security?
Why diminish our ability to compete in world markets, or negatively impact our technological
lead in clean energy generation?
In closing, we suggest EPA expand its
listening sessions to include coal producing states, and states most reliant on
coal generation. These are most at risk from reductions in coal use and rising
Thank you for your attention.