For over three years, the coal industry, ably represented by the National Mining Association, has been working on a comprehensive energy bill. As Coal Leader goes to press, the conferees have resumed negotiations and most people believe that Chairmen Tauzin and Domenici will try to get the bill completed this year, despite some rumors that they will put it off until next year. 
    The National Mining Association has effectively consolidated its efforts to transform how mining is seen in the nation. NMA recognizes the coal industryís challenges and is working hard to overcome them. With regard to energy, NMA is working coal specifically but reaching out to others.
    NMA is actively participating in the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, which is the broad energy coalition pushing for a comprehensive bill. NMA is working closely with Speaker Hastertís Natural Gas Task Force. The Speaker supports the goal of increasing fuel diversity through clean coal technology research in the energy bill to preserve and expand t he coal burn. There was good news last month when the Task Force included the goal of expanding coal use as an alternative to natural gas.
    NMA is actively supporting the Administrationís New Source Review Rule that will remove regulatory impediments to maintenance and repair projects and therefore, provide the certainty that is now lacking. Many environmental groups and editorial writers donít like the rule and their efforts must be overcome.
    Finally, there are many other items that NMA is working on, including mountaintop mining and subsidence. NMA has a full plate of legislative and regulatory matters of real consequence to the coal industry. NMA is also working hard to overcome the challenges of misconceptions and misinformation about the industry.
    Coal Leader applauds the efforts of the National Mining Association. The new NMA has consolidated and redirected its capabilities and resources to transform how mining is perceived by key constituent audiences. Many of the objectives of the coal industry have been achieved in the comprehensive energy bill which is now closer than ever before to becoming reality.


Bill Reid


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