Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 12, 2008

Boucher introduces key bill in push for clean coal energy

BLUEFIELD — U.S. Rep. Frederick C. “Rick” Boucher, D-Va., introduced legislation in congress today with broad-based bipartisan support that will pump $1 billion into technology aimed at developing viable carbon capture and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and injecting underground, the carbon dioxide emitted from electricity generation plants that use fossil fuels.

“Coal is America’s most abundant domestic fuel, and today, coal accounts for more than one-half of the fuel used for electricity generation,” Boucher was quoted as stating in a press release. Boucher is chairman of the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee. “Given our large coal reserves, its lower cost in comparison with other fuels and the inadequate availability of fuel alternatives, preservation of the ability of electric utilities to continue coal use is essential.

“The legislation introduced today addresses this clear need by enabling electric utilities that use coal to have the continued ability to do so when a mandatory program is implemented to control greenhouse gas emissions,” Boucher was quoted as stating.

The list of congressmen who joined Boucher in sponsoring the legislation is formidable and includes U.S. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., John Murtha D-Pa., Joe Barton, R-Texas, Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Jerry Costello, D-Ill., John Shimkus, R-Ill., Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Mike Doyle, D-Pa., Tim Holdren, D-Pa., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., Baron Hill, D-Ind., Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio and Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio.

“Energy prices drive our economy,” Rahall, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources was quoted in the press release as stating. “As the price of gasoline has skyrocketed due in part to policies that limit access to American energy resources, it is critical that electricity rates do not follow suit.”

Rahall said that clean coal technology answers part of the nation’s future energy needs. “In our quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, we must promote exciting new clean coal technologies that will not only keep costs down for consumers, but also foster new jobs and a strong economy.”

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