CURC has positioned itself for the discussions over the regulation of carbon dioxide by developing a strategy that will insure technology, and technology innovation, are identified as a crucial element in any greenhouse gas policy. Our members believe it is prudent to support the development of technologies that achieve high efficiency in converting coal to useful energy as well as technologies that cost-effectively prevent, capture, and store carbon dioxide emissions. Throughout the debate on how to best control GHG emissions, CURC has provided policymakers and regulators with important information on the development and deployment of coal technologies and how any future decision-making about the regulation of greenhouse gases will affect how coal and advanced coal technologies are utilized.
The breadth and depth of our members’ experience and knowledge make the CURC a respected voice on coal-related issues with policymakers in Washington D.C. We use our combined technical knowledge and political contacts to make the right choices for keeping coal competitive in this rapidly changing energy environment. Impact on public policy is a large draw to our organization, but there are several ways in which your organization can benefit by becoming a member of CURC, and we hope you will consider joining the membership to take advantage of these opportunities.
Impact on Public Policy
CURC serves as a reputable organization where technology or technical issues related to coal are raised. Therefore our advocacy is limited to issues that are grounded in technology or technical questions. Our involvement in policy or regulatory debates, like the passage of cap and trade legislation or the adoption of the EPA’s pending coal-related rules, are avoided but for questions related to technology in which case CURC is often invited to engage in such debates. For example, CURC submitted a petition to reconsider certain aspects of EPA's Utility MATS proposal for coal-fired power plants. The sole focus of the petition for reconsideration was on the performance standards that EPA set for mercury emissions from new coal-fired electric utility steam generating units. In July, the EPA announced its intent to grant a petition for reconsideration of the MATS rule for mercury.
Additionally, CURC was the principal advocate of the use of bonus allowances in various climate related proposals in the 111th Congress in order to best insure that if climate legislation were enacted high cost CO2 capture systems would be supported.
On an annual basis CURC evaluates the federal budget and policy priorities set forth by the White House and the Congress to determine whether current priorities will result in the continued contributions of coal. As part of this process, members of CURC meet with the project managers of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to discuss how the DOE programs align with the coal RDD&D goals and recommendations set forth in the CURC-EPRI Roadmap.
As a part of this effort, CURC works with Congress and the Department of Energy to insure the coal R&D programs administered by the Department of Energy are adequately funded and, if deemed necessary by industry, will make recommendations to Department of Energy that they include significantly larger requests for the coal program in their Fossil Energy Budget Request to Congress. As a member of CURC, you could help set funding priorities and work closely with the Department of Energy on the administration of these programs.
Development of Industry Roadmap
In a collaborative effort to identify future technologies to effectively use coal, CURC and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) developed a clean coal technology Roadmap (CURC-EPRI Roadmap). The Roadmap identifies a variety of research, development and demonstration priorities that if adequately funded and pursued, could lead to the successful development of a set of coal-based technologies that will be cost-effective, highly efficient and achieve near zero emissions to our air and water resources. The development of these technologies help to ensure coal will continue to provide economic, environmental and energy security benefits to the nation.
The Roadmap was originally released in 2001 then modified in 2007 and most recently updated and released again in the summer of 2012. Significant changes have occurred since the Roadmap’s 2008 update, which called for 2012 update, both in technology development and in society’s needs, and the updated roadmap reflects those changes. These changes include diminished expectations that legislation regulating the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) will be enacted; an effort to regulate GHG emissions based on existing legislative authority; new environmental regulations related to traditional pollutants; a slowdown in the U.S. economy; and additional knowledge about the opportunity for low-cost anthropogenic CO2 to facilitate enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to displace imported oil.
The 2012 CURC-EPRI Technology Roadmap describes technologies needed to acquire a set of benefits from coal that each organization views as important and achievable through advancements in technology. In general, those benefits fall into the familiar categories of environmental quality, energy security, and economic prosperity. As a member of CURC, you can help define coal technology development priorities.
Contact with Industry Colleagues
The CURC provides a forum for your company representatives to interact in an informal way with other industry leaders, including officials and coal program managers at the U.S. Department of Energy. The CURC brings together a range of companies with an interest in keeping coal competitive - from entities that do the research and manufacture the machinery to those that produce coal, to a company that transports it to the utility that uses it, the CURC represents a diverse cross section of coal interests. The CURC has biannual general membership meetings, and several times during the year, we hold meetings tailored to our "subcommittees," which include the Technical Subcommittee (where research priorities are determined) and our Government Affairs Subcommittee (where Washington Representatives meet to determine appropriate advocacy strategies). Your representatives enjoy professional development while working with industry experts for the purpose of determining the technologies that must be invested in today to ensure coal is here tomorrow, and for developing federal policy and programs that focus on that technology development. As a member of CURC, you stay connected.
Easy Access to Congressional Materials
CURC staff provides analysis of key legislation and keeps members abreast of Congressional activities of interest to CURC. When a member of Congress addresses issues of interest on the floor of the House or Senate, we offer links to the relevant materials. We maintain relations with Members and their staff who are key to coal-related funding and policy issues, and educate Members and staff that are not familiar with our issues. CURC staff attends Congressional hearings and markups on legislative matters of interest to CURC members and write summaries for the CURC membership. These memos, analyses and Congressional information are posted on the CURC website and provide links to official testimony when available. As a member of CURC, you keep track of Congress.
Representation on Capitol Hill
CURC staff arranges meetings with Members and congressional staffers to advocate funding for coal R&D and to educate staff about the importance of coal-fired electricity to the economy. When we arrange a Hill visit, our Government Affairs Subcommittee members are notified and invited to attend. While most Washington Representatives already lobby, CURC provides another avenue for increasing your contact with Hill staff. We also provide CURC materials for these visits. As a member of CURC, your voice is heard.
Information at Your Fingertips
The CURC is a very active organization. We maintain a useful website which includes a special "Members Only" link. Members are provided access to all CURC materials, charts, graphs, and budget requests, including summaries of CURC contact with congressional staff and a copy of the CURC roadmap. We include a continuously updated schedule of upcoming CURC meetings and list of upcoming Congressional hearings of interest to CURC members. We also add summaries of select hearings and key legislation, and other issues of interest to CURC members. We update our members via email with memoranda, meeting notifications, and links to new additions to the website. As a member of CURC, you stay informed.