Boilermakers Local 154 Business Manager Raymond C. Ventrone captured the concern and frustration of his members and the coal industry as a whole in his letter of Aug. 16 regarding the Obama administration's unilateral carbon reduction initiative ("The EPA's Anti-Coal Agenda Is Costing Jobs").
The most frustrating aspect of the administration's policy push is that it ignores a substantial swath of common ground -- the continuation of reasonable, technologically achievable emission reductions that move toward zero emissions, while at the same time retaining thousands of coal production and power plant jobs. A collaborative effort between the administration and energy stakeholders would lay the groundwork for a proverbial win/win.
The blueprint for such an achievement is the manner in which the federal government has worked with the auto industry to increase mileage standards and reduce auto emissions. Unlike the current initiative, the government imposed the new auto industry standards in a reasonable and measured manner, and that collaborative effort saved the auto industry, even through a time of great economic distress.
The progress in reducing coal emissions and the continuing advances in technology over recent decades proves our point: We can have reliable, affordable, clean energy without throwing thousands upon thousands of skilled workers and professionals out of their family-sustaining jobs.
Chief Executive Officer
Pennsylvania Coal Alliance