On September 14, 2016 Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz highlighted the need for coal’s role in the U.S. energy future while speaking at the Mid-Atlantic Region Energy Innovation Forum at West Virginia University. Secretary Moniz said that Congress needs to pass tax credits that could help power plants burn coal more cleanly and that tax credits would send a signal to utilities and investors about coal’s viability for future investment.
As part of the West Virginia trip, Secretary Moniz also toured Longview Power’s coal-fired plant that uses up to 20% natural gas fuel along with coal and represents an efficient method of producing low cost electricity with reduced emissions. This type of plant is key to maintaining reliable electricity based on America’s most abundant resources.
Invited to West Virginia by U.S. Representative David McKinley, one of the few engineers in Congress, and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Secretary Moniz noted that a top priority is getting several billion dollars of tax credits for building facilities and for projects that trap carbon from coal-fired plants. Manchin also reiterated that many West Virginia counties are in deep depression and “…we’re just trying to find a pathway forward.”
Danny Gray, Charah Executive Vice President of Governmental and Environmental Affairs, commented that policy parity among energy options must be achieved to improve competitiveness for the American manufacturing industry. Reliable and affordable electricity has been a base building block for our country, and tax credits to support innovation in coal-fired generation are needed to ensure a balanced approach.