MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant brought one of the U.S. Senate’s top energy leaders, Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, on a tour of the National Research Center for Coal & Energy at West Virginia University (WVU) today to promote investment in West Virginia technology that supports coal jobs.
Secretary Tennant strongly opposes job-killing regulations on coal-fired power plants, and has called on Congress to invest in advanced-coal technology that will support West Virginia coal jobs for years to come.
“Instead of attacking coal with regulations, we should be working together to invest in advanced coal technologies that will support coal jobs for years to come,” Secretary Tennant said. “West Virginia can lead the country with cutting edge research like the folks at WVU are doing, and bringing energy leaders like Senator Heitkamp to see for themselves will help put West Virginia on the map and keep coal strong.”
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been a strong ally for coal jobs in the Senate and has led the way in taking pragmatic steps to keep coal strong for years to come. Sen. Heitkamp recently introduced legislation to spur investment in advanced coal technologies like those being developed at WVU. Tennant organized Friday’s tour to showcase the WVU Coal Center as a prime candidate for the type of investments Heitkamp’s bill would support.
“The importance of coal cannot be understated, and I’m committed to making sure this affordable, abundant energy source is available for decades to come,” Senator Heitkamp said. “It’s past time that our country has a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, and the research happening at West Virginia University and the University of North Dakota will play a critical role in our work to make sure coal remains a strong and viable part of America’s energy future.”
In March, WVU and the University of North Dakota co-hosted a Coal Technology Symposium in Washington, D.C. focused on finding solutions to keep coal strong for years to come. Heitkamp helped organize the symposium and spoke at it, along with West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.
Before becoming a U.S. Senator, Heitkamp worked for more than a decade as a director of Dakota Gasification in North Dakota, a one-of-a-kind facility that converts coal into natural gas. Heitkamp’s bill helps make it affordable for coal plants to invest in advanced technologies that will keep them competitive for years to come.
Tennant supports Federal legislation that would block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on coal-fired power plants because they are based on technology that doesn’t exist and would hurt West Virginia jobs.
Tennant has criticized EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for excluding West Virginia from the EPA’s ‘listening tour’ on the new regulations.