By Joselyn King
January 4, 2022 - The committee that advises Washington on coal-related matters technically no longer exists.
According to information provided by the office of U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., the Biden Administration — through the U.S. Department of Energy — permitted the National Coal Council’s charter to lapse in November.
The NCC provides advice and guidance on a continuing basis as requested by the Secretary of Energy on the general policy matters relating to coal.
McKinley said he and others will work to see the committee is reinstated.
The DOE has proposed a major overhaul to the charter, which includes gutting the NCC’s membership and refocusing its mission away from coal industry innovation, according to McKinley.
The NCC was established in 1984.
“The coal council had been there for decades,” McKinley explained. “There is such an anti-fossil fuel movement by the Biden Administration and the socialist movement on the other side of the aisle. They want to do away with fossil fuels in any way they can. It’s just one more thing they want to take away.
“It (the coal council) is going to expire. We’re going to have to reinstall it again. It looks like we may have to do it retroactively.”
The coal council has long been a voice for coal and fossil fuels, according to McKinley.
“You have to understand the impact this will have,” he said. “The world is increasing its use of coal. China is using seven to eight times the amount of coal as we are.
“Our council can help guide how we can help improve our emissions. By doing away with it — that’s not going to solve the problem.”
McKinley has introduced House Resolution 6187, the Coal Council Certainty Act of 2021. The bill would codify the NCC’s charter that DOE let lapse last month.
If passed, the measure would reverse the Biden Administration’s decision and preserve the Council’s advisory role to the Secretary of Energy with respect to coal policy, technology, and markets, according to McKinley.
According to its website, the NCC advises the Secretary of Energy on matters pertaining to the following:
* Federal policies that directly or indirectly affect the production, marketing and use of coal;
* Plans, priorities and strategies to address more effectively the technological, regulatory and social impact of issues relating to coal production and use;
* The appropriate balance between various elements of federal coal-related programs;
* Scientific and engineering aspects of coal technologies, including emerging coal conversion, utilization or environmental control concepts;
* The progress of coal research, development, demonstration and commercial application.
“This Biden Administration has made it clear that their energy strategy does not include coal,” he said. “Gutting the National Coal Council is yet another reminder of their intentions. The Administration’s repeated attacks on the coal industry is killing jobs and will hollow out communities in West Virginia and other coal producing areas.
“Coal production is truly the backbone of American energy, and with promising developments in carbon capture technology, coal needs to continue to be part of an all-of-the above energy strategy. We need to stand up and fight for coal’s future,” he said.