Candid views on coal
Coal is vital to America's energy independence, but increasing regulation is making it difficult for the industry to meet national needs. That is according to a candid keynote by Robert Murray, President and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation at the Nemacolin Energy Institute's National Coal Conference.
Murray explained why the coal industry in crisis.
"The average cost of coal-fired electricity in America has been $0.04 per kilowatt hour. This compares to $0.22 per kilowatt hour for wind and solar electricity." However, because of increased regulation and costs, "Families living on an income of less than $50,000 have historically paid 12 percent of their after-tax income for energy. Already, in 2012, it is projected to be 21 percent." This makes the on-going availability of low cost, coal-fired electricity even more important to our nation's economic recovery.
Murray cautioned that from a global context, China is bringing new 500 MW coal-fired power plants online every week.
"This means they will have a capability for low cost energy that could attract even more off-shoring of U.S. jobs," he said.
Further, Appalachian coal is being challenged with increased regulation that will likely result in an increase in coal-fired energy costs.
At the conference, Steve Miller, President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity called for an "all in" national energy policy coupled with a reasonable regulatory package that would encourage fair competition between all energy sources and address some of these issues.
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