Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

September 10, 2013

Our local economy depends upon use of coal

Many people are debating the use of coal as the main source of global warming and many scientists agree that burning fossil fuels is contributing to the rise in temperature and weather patterns.

Our local economy depends on the use of coal, let’s consider how many jobs in our area will be affected if the use of coal is so heavily regulated that it won’t be possible to burn coal, there is the Mount Storm power plant, the AES Warrior Run power plant which has the newest environmental equipment installed at that facility, the coal miners and truck drivers that deliver the coal and CSX railroad that hauls a lot of coal from our region to the Port of Baltimore.

The Luke Paper Company depends on having an advantage over other paper mills due to the abundance of coal right in its own backyard, the Luke Mill cannot operate on natural gas alone, the current infrastructure is not capable of delivering enough natural gas into the Luke Mill and a large capital investment would have to be made to allow the mill to stop burning coal.

The paper industry is slowly losing the battle with digital media when it comes to how people get information.

New Page Corporation has just emerged from bankruptcy, so would they invest millions of dollars into the Luke Mill?

The Obama administration has bypassed Congress on some very important regulations as far as the use of coal, most coal fired power plants and factories will have to install very expensive equipment just to meet the new guidelines that the EPA has written.

I believe if our government would spend half the amount of money that they have to promote wind and solar energy that developing the latest technology to burn coal we would be more secure in our ability to produce electricity and manufacture products here in America.

Ask yourself why is China and India building coal fired power plants while in America we are shutting them down?

The Obama administration thinks by us not burning coal it will solve the global warming problem but instead China and India will continue to burn coal which will do nothing to stop global warming, those countries don’t have strong environmental laws like we have here so pollution could actually increase over time.

Here in America we have a 250-year supply of coal, we can develop clean coal technology if our government will stop putting special interest groups ahead of our economic and energy future.

Coal still provides 50 percent of all energy produced in America, so please the next time you see a coal miner thank them for providing all of us with dependable energy.

Mark Alexander

Westernport

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