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Jim Orchard
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Government Affairs
Cloud Peak Energy

Mark McCullough
Executive Vice President
American Electric Power

Vice Chairmen

Deck Slone
Senior Vice President
Strategy and Public Policy
Arch Coal, Inc.

Barbara Walz
Senior Vice President
Policy & Compliance
Tri-State Generation & Transmission
Association Inc.


Ray Harry
Southern Company


Michael Stroben
Duke Energy

Executive Director

Ben Yamagata
Coal Utilization Research Council

1050 Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20007

(202) 298-1850
(202) 338-2416 FAX


CURC Position Statement on Climate Change Legislation


CURC Position Statement on Climate Legislation:

Coal will continue to play a vital role in meeting energy needs and its abundance and use in the United States helps to insure our national energy security.  Members of CURC recognize that there is a growing belief among policymakers that reductions of greenhouse gases are necessary to address the global issue of climate change.  Technologies must be available to insure that U.S. coal resources continue to meet energy needs while cost-effectively reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Technology also will play a crucial role worldwide as the demand for energy from coal grows rapidly. 


Proposed New CURC Climate Change Principles

  1. The U.S. has abundant coal resources which currently supply 42% of U.S. electricity needs and are capable of supplying even a greater portion of our growing energy needs. In order to maintain U.S. economic vitality and promote domestic energy security, continued low cost electricity from coal will be imperative under any program to control greenhouse gas emissions. 
  1. Technology will be a primary enabler to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing low cost and carbon friendly electricity from coal.  Technology also will enable the use of coal in providing needed energy in other sectors of the economy.
  1. Substantial federal financial support will be required to lead an accelerated and sustained national commitment to research, development, demonstration and widespread deployment of more-efficient electricity generation and carbon capture and storage technology.
  1. Any public policy to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide from electric power generation must be accompanied by –

          a robust set of financial and regulatory initiatives to develop and deploy cost-effective, energy efficient coal-fueled electricity generation with advanced coal technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration;

          clear and timely resolution to questions involving CO2 transport, storage and liability once CO2 emissions are captured; and

          a recognition that if technology is to play a key role in enabling coal use, while addressing GHG reductions, then such technology must be commercially available to fulfill these dual needs.


The challenge to using coal in this country has been in finding cost effective ways to use our nation’s most abundant natural resource in a manner that meets our nation’s environmental goals, preserves our national energy security and provides low cost power and products for the American consumer. CURC believes that technology and technology innovation are critical to insure we meet that challenge. Through the use of technology, developed in cooperation with government and industry, that challenge has not been insurmountable. In the 1980s and 1990s, technologies were developed that significantly reduced the amount of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide that are emitted from existing coal fired power plants while the amount of electricity generated from coal dramatically increased. 


Today, researchers are developing technologies to reduce the amount of mercury that is emitted from coal plants. The new challenge will be to continue to use this domestically produced, low cost resource in a carbon constrained world, while we cost-effectively meet our energy needs. 

Over the past several years, both Houses of Congress have introduced various pieces of legislation that aim to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. CURC’s position with respect to emissions reduction is that technology is the key to ensure low cost and carbon friendly electricity from coal. CURC has developed a strategy that makes technology the center piece and the solution over the debate on fossil fuel emissions, and will work with Congress to insure incentives for advanced coal technology development, both in the near-term and the long-term, are included in any effort to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide.  

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Siemens SGT6-5000F Gas Turbine - Photo courtesy of Siemens