Heidi Heitkamp's Clean Coal Efforts Get Mixed Reaction From Coal Industry


I have a post over at Watchdog.org today about Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s efforts on behalf of the coal industry. Specifically legislation she’s introduced the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Bill to subsidize clean coal technology.

But with the EPA looking to make the building of new coal-fired power plants illegal, the coal industry itself seems less than impressed with Heitkamp’s efforts. Including the coal group Heitkamp used as the backdrop for her announcement:

In a posting in a nonpublic section of its website provided to Watchdog by a member of the group, the National Mining Association says it doesn’t support Heitkamp’s bill.

“NMA supports long-term CCS development but declined to support the Heitkamp bill as it fails to address the immediate threat to coal-based capacity from the Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standards,” reads the posting.

Heitkamp, announced her legislation at the headquarters of the Lignite Energy Council in Bismarck while flanked by coal industry representatives. While that group says it supports the bill, it also says the bill doesn’t go far enough.

“We support her bill because it’s an attempt to reinstate the traditional support by the U.S. Department of Energy for research and development for coal,” Lignite Energy Council spokesman Steve Van Dyke said in response to an email requesting comment. “While we support Heitkamp’s bill, we also realize that it doesn’t go far enough. That’s why we also support (Sen.) John Hoeven and (Rep.) Kevin Cramer and thank them for their support of the Whitfield-Manchin bill.”

For what it’s worth, Heitkamp supports the Whitfiled-Manchin bill Senator Hoeven and Rep. Cramer are backing, which would block EPA emissions regulations for new power plants, but she doesn’t think it can pass. “That is one tactic, but I think that our concern is that that bill will not be able to get the amount of support,” she said last week according to the Fargo Forum.