Statement from ACCCE President and CEO, Steve Miller, in Response to FERC Chairman’s Comments

April 22, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 22 /PRNewswire/ — The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is deeply troubled by comments attributed today to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Wellinghoff. The Chairman’s remarks show a fundamental misunderstanding of vital steps needed to keep energy prices affordable, promote greater energy independence and reliability, and accelerate the deployment of new, advanced technologies that will help to address concerns about climate change.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects a nearly 25% increase in electricity demand by 2030- including a 16% increase in the use of coal-just to meet growing energy demand in the United States. EIA’s forecast assumes significant efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency, but clearly shows that a growing population and economy will be fueled by increased energy production. While ACCCE supports all of our domestic energy resources to generate electricity (including renewables) and energy efficiency, the EIA analysis shows that new coal-fueled electricity generation will be an important component of meeting increased demand.

Currently, coal and nuclear provide more than 70% of the electricity generated in the United States–and this electricity is generated as baseload power, which is available all day, every day. Ignoring the obvious benefits of traditional baseload fuels could put the reliability of the nation’s electricity supply at risk. The North American Reliability Coordinating Corporation (NERC) has repeatedly warned in recent years that reserve margins have been shrinking to dangerous levels in several regions of the country-and that policymakers and industry must take additional steps to ensure grid reliability, including the development of new baseload generating assets.

Siting new coal-fueled plants is also a crucial element in cost-effective policies to ultimately reduce manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Not only the United States, but many other major economic powers, will continue to use coal well into the future. Accordingly, significant public-private sector partnerships to fund new coal-based power plants with higher efficiencies and new technologies to capture and safely store CO2 are imperative. Such investments will allow the United States to exert international leadership on an issue of global concern.

ACCCE asks Chairman Wellinghoff to reconsider these remarks and work with Congress, other federal agencies, industry, and the American people to ensure that we continue using America’s most abundant energy resource-coal-in ways that will help our nation to regain its economic strength by holding down energy costs, foster greater energy independence, and meet the goal of reducing our carbon footprint.


The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal. Because coal is America’s most abundant energy resource, ACCCE supports energy policies that balance coal’s vital role in meeting our country’s growing need for affordable and reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment. ACCCE also advocates for the development and deployment of advanced clean coal technologies that will produce electricity with near-zero emissions. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA. For more information, visit www.cleancoalusa.org or www.americaspower.org


Source: newswire

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