February 26, 2015

Kaine, Heitkamp Reintroduce Legislation To Support Clean Coal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Heidi Heitkamp today reintroduced the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Act to help encourage coal plants to lower their carbon pollution through the use of advanced clean coal technologies. By making capital more accessible, this legislation would ultimately make the clean coal technology more affordable. The bill provides a path forward for clean coal energy production, so coal-fired power remains within our national energy mix well into the future, helping to keep energy costs low and making use of a reliable energy source the U.S. depends on.

“I have long believed that American innovation is the key to generating energy cleaner tomorrow than today,” said Senator Kaine. “This bill represents the large-scale R&D investment we need in cleaner coal technologies.  If American innovators can successfully deploy these technologies, we can not only reduce the carbon intensity of our fossil fuels but also bolster our manufacturing exports to developing economies like China and India that need to reduce their carbon emissions while providing energy for growing populations. This bill lays the groundwork for an effort that could pay economic and environmental dividends for years to come.”

As Governor, Kaine supported the permitting of the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, a state-of-the-art coal power plant in Southwest Virginia that opened in 2012 and is designed to accommodate future carbon capture and storage technology. As Senator, he has supported robust funding levels in the Department of Energy Fossil Energy R&D account.

“Building a strong future for our country absolutely includes a sound commitment to a diversified energy sector,” said Heitkamp. “When nearly 40 percent of our nation’s electricity in this country comes from coal – and almost 80 percent in North Dakota – it’s clear coal is a resource we need to continue to harness. Talking about adhering to an all-of-the-above energy strategy in America is easy – and there’s a lot of talk – but actually seeking a true strategy that includes using all of our energy resources to secure a safe, economically strong future for our children is another story. My commonsense legislation would help make that possible by providing a sustainable path forward for coal – an energy industry that already supports high-paying jobs across the country and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Long before my time in the Senate, I’ve understood the importance of true follow-through on our energy goals and promises, and I’ll keep talking with anyone who will listen – including many at the U.S. Energy Department – about how coal must remain a workable resource in our national energy mix and continue to support our country for generations to come.”