Congressman speaks on coal at National Energy Summit

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Congressman Hal Rogers and other members of congress came to Pulaski County to talk about the future of energy.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R) was one speaker at the Tennessee Valley Corridor's 27th annual National Energy Summit. He and others talked about the importance of coal and other fossil energies in America's energy future.

Congressman Rogers talked about the importance of securing America's energy future, starting with coal.

“The research capabilities that we have in this region can help us burn coal cleaner, clean coal if you will,” said Rogers.

Rogers said harsh regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency have changed the future for regional energy.

“The administration is cutting funds for research on clean coal, so this is a way for people across five states can collaborate that have common interests.”

The event was put together by the Tennessee Valley Corridor, a non profit that works in five states to create energy collaborations and economic development.

“Energy equals jobs, as we start investing in energy, we get an investment in jobs,” said Dr. Anthony Cugini, of the Department of Energy National Energy Technology Lab.

Cugini was the keynote speaker for the dinner and talked about the importance of fossil energies such as coal, oil and natural gas in America’s energy future. Cugini said energy is vital to economic sustainability.

“There is no secret to some of the tremendous growth in job sectors in different parts of the country associated with some of the energy growth,” said Cugini.
“The exporting of coal is bringing some job growth but more importantly shell gas and other types of technologies have created job growth in a lot of different sectors in this country.”

This year's focus was promoting America's Energy Security.

“We recognize that our congress needs to develop an energy security policy,” said TVC Chair Etta Clark.
“Unfortunately we are not seeing that, so what we have to do is to develop a policy position that congress members can at least become aware of.”

Rogers said he believes Appalachia needs to be able to use coal to create energy and jobs for the region.

“The administration has declared a war on coal,” said Rogers.
“They are trying to keep us from burning coal, mining coal or transporting coal and that means security we have five or six hundred years worth of coal in these grounds in our region of the country that gives us an opportunity to be independent of middle eastern oil.”

The last time one of these summits was held in Kentucky was back in 2004.

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