The report National Energy Security Post 9/11 was prepared by the United States Energy Association (USEA) in light of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 under the leadership of Richard Lawson, Chairman of its National Energy Policy Committee.
Part One of this article on the report appeared in last month’s Coal Leader. Part two of the article below focuses on the recommendations with regard to the coal industry.
The report includes a number of policy recommendations on coal:
New Technology Deployment
Establish a creative incentive program to attract greater and more rapid investment for new construction, and the renovation and expansion of existing electricity generating plants.
· Program would stimulate deployment of new and improved technologies that improve operations, improve power generating efficiencies, and decrease environmental impact.
· Program would expand and improve the use of domestic fuels such as coal and bio mass for production of electricity.
Coal to Liquid Fuels Capability
Develop strategic fuels initiative which produces liquid fuels for U.S. military forces from domestic coal deposits.
· Assures the availability of military fuels during peacetime and wartime environments.
· Mitigates the impact of a reduction of imported oil on the U.S. economy.
Expand Federal Land’s Inventory
Initiate a study of all Federal lands access policies to determine lands which should be returned to the national inventory of lands eligible for energy exploration and development (coal, gas, oil, nuclear).
Capture and Utilize Coal Mine Methane
A government tax credit is proposed to act as an incentive for mine operators to assist in developing the capability to capture and utilize coalmine methane from the vent-air stream.
· Coal mine methane, a domestically available energy source, is conserved rather than wasted. Safety is improved and the environment is cleaner.
Better Educate Americans About Coal Use and Production
Americans do not know about coal, its use, availability, production methods, reserves or potential for future U.S. energy security. Technologies are available to use coal in a variety of national energy needs with minimum environmental impact. A national education program is a must.
If policy issues, many of which address land use and environmental concerns are not resolved in a more reasonable manner than now proposed, coal use could remain stagnant or even drop slightly during the next ten years. A decline in domestic coal use is not in America’s best interest, especially given the current concerns about energy security and U.S. national security.
The report says that energy security is a multi-faceted issue that involves five core principals.
· Diversity of fuel sources
· Economic efficiency
· Accelerated innovation and R&D
· Contingency planning and emergency preparedness
· Balance energy security, economic and environmental objectives.
National Energy Security Post 9/11 makes clear that the threat to U.S. energy security is real. It is intended as a call to action and the threat to U.S. energy supplies, energy infrastructure and public confidence are real and must be addressed. The implementation of the policies recommended in the report can change the outcomes in the business as usual energy trends.
· U.S. oil import dependency from unstable sources of supply can be slashed dramatically in the next decade
· Critical energy infrastructure protection can be enhanced significantly through advanced technology
· Energy security, economic and environmental concerns can be balanced effectively.
Energy security requires carefully orchestrated planning and implementation. It can be accomplished without sacrificing environmental objectives. The answer is not regulation and constraint, but rather the continued research, development, and introduction of the technologies necessary to accommodate both economic demands for increased energy supplies and improved environmental performance.
The report concludes with a word about the future of energy on Planet Earth. With a current population of 6 billion people and with forecasts that the population will increase to 9 billion by 2050, it is obvious that the demands for energy in the immediate future will surpass anything yet seen. Globally, the most prevalent concern will be the amount of poverty and the preponderance of that problem will exist in developing countries of higher population density. Few, if any of these nations posses any semblance of an energy structure or for that matter, a viable economy. This situation must be addressed. Some form of “Energy Marshall Plan for Developing Countries” must be put into place if the “bridge the gap” is to be successfully carried out between the haves and have-nots of the 21st century.
For further information contact USEA, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 550, Washington, D.C. 20004-3022, phone 202-312-1230. cl
This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws. The article may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior permission of Coal Leader, Inc. Copyright 2003, Coal Leader, Inc. All rights reserved.