Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment
Huge piles of low-quality “coal refuse” (also called “waste coal”) have become fixtures of our natural landscape. With the invention of circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology, however, the private sector has been able to process this coal and use it to generate cheap, domestic energy. The leftover materials can then be remediated and used to restore green or wooded spaces or to backfill abandoned mines. To date, this approach has been effectively used to reclaim thousands of acres of previously-damaged land and streams, thereby saving taxpayers millions in potential cleanup costs.
Unfortunately, facilities that utilize CFB technology will soon be forced to shut down as a result of the compliance costs associated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. To prevent this from happening, I introduced H.R. 3138, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act of 2013, which provides existing CFB facilities with relief from the unattainable hydrogen chloride (HCl) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) limitations of the MATS rule. This common-sense legislation recognizes the important energy and environmental benefits that these facilities provide and offers a reasonable tradeoff that keeps these plants open, saves jobs, preserves important domestic electricity-generating capacity, and cleans the environment.
Letters of Support