Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Morgan Griffith on the Future of Coal

E-mailed last week from the office of U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

Future of Coal Symposium

In my previous column, I discussed the Symposium on the Future of Coal-Focused Technology, Innovation, and Industry I was hosting at on April 4 at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVA-Wise).

As I had expected, it was an informative and productive discussion on such topics as pilot projects utilizing various new technologies, coal’s rare earth minerals potential, etc.

Though things in the coal industry and in coal-producing regions are difficult, and while there is no one magic silver bullet, there is a future for coal. The Kingsport Times-News noted that panel participant David Mohler, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, “…began his remarks [saying] that ‘there is a future for coal…’” and vowed “…that his agency's perspective holds that ‘coal is in the game for decades to come’ because it can help meet the nation's energy needs…”

I greatly appreciate all those who attended and/or participated in this discussion, and am particularly grateful to the DOE and UVA-Wise for their assistance. We can and will work together to help advance new coal technologies. Doing so will help develop more uses for coal and thus will help to protect jobs in coal communities.

Personally, I want to upgrade to solar power. There are some complications about using solar power, as there are about using everything, in mountain/forest areas as distinct from flat boring suburbs. We need to work through them.