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Coal plays a vital role in nation’s energy mix

As President Obama seeks answers toward building up middle-class jobs, an area of concern for New York is the loss of 15,800 manufacturing jobs in the past year. Coal can provide solutions, but we need the president’s support. Affordable and secure energy is one clear competitive advantage American manufacturing enjoys, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Coal provides a steady, reliable source of affordable electricity. Not coincidentally, states with the highest percentage of coal-fired electricity are also states with a high percentage of manufacturers, who support hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs.

Many of these manufacturing jobs will be threatened if the administration moves forward with far-reaching new regulatory standards for power plants – standards so extreme they would prevent power plants utilizing the latest in advanced coal technologies from being built, effectively banning plants that are between 70 percent and 90 percent cleaner than the ones they replace. Diminishing coal’s role in our nation’s energy mix is an invitation to the enemy of American manufacturing – higher and more volatile energy costs. More thoughtful, reasonable policies are needed so consumers and manufacturers alike don’t face an energy tax and New York can attract more of those sought-after, middle-class jobs.

Hal Quinn

President and CEO

National Mining Association