By and large, coal is what powers our economic engine. According to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), coal accounts for nearly 80% of the state’s electric generation. The reason coal remains a primary source of energy is not because of political gimmicks, subsidies, or special tax treatment. Coal powers America because it is cheap, abundant, and reliable.
Coal energy does not have to come at the expense of the environment and the well-being of citizens. The coal industry has seen dramatic improvements in technology over the past several decades. New technologies have been adopted to capture, store, and reduce emissions. It is important that research and development continues for clean coal technologies, since coal remains a proven, cost-effective method of generating the electricity necessary to grow the economy and power our communities.
Coal is not the single solution to our economic problems, but it should be part of the solution. America needs to adopt an all-of-the-above energy strategy that encompasses all forms of economically feasible generation. It is clear that the Administration isn’t interested in all-of-the-above. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, I have seen first-hand that the EPA is much more concerned with shutting down the fossil fuel industry than with improving the current system.
We need more than one source of energy to attain energy independence and security, and coal must be a part of the equation. The coal industry contributes significantly to the vitality of the economy within Ohio, and the regulations put forward by the President this week hamper the job market for Ohioans. I, along with my Republican colleagues in the House, am working every day to take a stand against these destructive policies.
Gibbs, since 2011, represents Ohio's 7th congressional district in the House of Representatives. He sits on the Agriculture and the Transportation and Infrastructure committees.