Lawmakers clash over future of coal

Lawmakers clash over future of coal
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Lawmakers clashed Tuesday at a hearing over "innovative and alternative" uses for coal energy.

Republicans on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources insisted the industry is on the rebound. But Democrats at the contentious hearing pushed back, arguing that the GOP is trying to prop up coal for political reasons.

Subcommittee Chairman Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarArizona Rep. Paul Gosar wins GOP primary  Trade negotiations mustn't short-circuit domestic debate House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks MORE (R-Ariz.) defended the hearing, saying lawmakers "should examine how coal will be a vital energy source in meeting the world’s electricity needs."

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But Rep. Alan LowenthalAlan Stuart LowenthalAct now to protect our nation's birds Overnight Energy: EPA declines to regulate chemical tied to developmental damage | Democrats unveil .5T infrastructure plan | Land management bureau eases requirements for oil, gas royalty cut requests Land management bureau lessens requirements for oil and gas royalty cut requests MORE (D-Calif.) said the administration was "checking boxes" on issues important to the industry. He said the focus should be on the health impacts from coal mines and accused the administration of "trying to bury science."

Lawmakers heard from Julian McIntyre, founder and CEO of ARQ, a company that processes coal wastes into new energy products.

“Our technology can have an immense impact on the economy and environment,” McIntyre said.

Randall Atkins, CEO of Ramaco Carbon, told lawmakers that new uses for coal would transform the industry.

“Coal will be serving a higher purpose,” he insisted.

Republican lawmakers also used the hearing to hammer former President Obama and praise President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE's coal policies.

Rep. Glenn ThompsonGlenn (G.T.) W. ThompsonSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House MORE (R-Pa.) accused the former president of being biased against the industry.

“Obama tried real hard to kill coal,” he said.

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker House GOP pushes back at Trump on changing election date Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (R-Wyo.) expressed her support for Trump's efforts to aid the industry and pressed those testifying on what Congress could do to boost coal development.

Democrats, though, questioned the basis for the hearing.

“Coal mining will not be making a major comeback, despite what the president has convinced some people,” said Lowenthal.