I have always been proud to be from a coal state. Half of the United States' electricity comes from coal. Energy from coal is cheap and affordable, lowering America's electric bills and allowing us to have extra money in our pockets during this tough economic time. The future of coal lies in clean coal. With the advancement of new technologies, the process of converting coal to energy not only becomes cleaner and keeps Americans' utility bills affordable, but also creates jobs at the same time.
Last week, the Senate debated the "endangerment finding" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in regards to greenhouse gas emissions. In December 2009, the EPA declared that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are pollutants dangerous to the public's health. This ruling by the EPA is no more than a backdoor attempt to enforce a national energy policy that would be a job killer. A resolution I cosponsored, Senate Joint Resolution 26, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) earlier this year, is a formal resolution of disapproval to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, the other side prevailed last week in their opposition and voted against proceeding with the resolution.
In addition, I recently offered an amendment to restore the coal-to-liquids portion of the alternative fuel tax credit. This is the only portion in the alternative fuel credit that requires reduced emissions. Despite this, the leadership in the House of Representatives stripped it from the package of extensions of expired provisions that Congress is currently debating. My amendment, cosponsored by Senator Rockefeller (D-WV), provides a significant incentive for developing clean coal technology that the United States needs for a secure energy supply and does not cost any taxpayer dollars.