ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - April 21, 2005)
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Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, coal is by far the largest domestic source of energy we produce. Here in the United States, we have between 250 and 300 years of a coal supply. That is more than the amount of recoverable oil contained in the entire world.
I am proud to represent the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania, which have the largest anthracite coal deposit in North America, arguably the largest deposit in the world. It is a high-Btu, low-sulfur fuel, and is considered the cleanest-burning solid fuel on the commercial market today.
But as we can see through rising fuel prices, we are too dependent upon foreign oil. In the United States, we consume about 20.5 million barrels of oil per day. That's about 7.5 billion barrels per year. Half of that is imported. And almost half of American oil consumption is for motor vehicles.
One of our priorities should be to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We should be increasing research and development into our fossil fuel program. With continued research of coal, the potential of the United States becoming energy self-sufficient in an environmentally friendly manner is enhanced.
For over 15 years, through the clean coal programs of the Department of Energy, the Federal Government has been a solid partner, working jointly with private companies and the states to develop and demonstrate a new generation of environmentally clean technology using coal.
One benefit of the clean coal programs takes advantage of a decades' old technology of converting coal and waste coal into clean diesel fuel. In Pennsylvania alone, there is an excess of 200-300 million tons of waste coal that has accumulated over the years. A company in Gilberton, Pennsylvania, in my district, is ready to do convert this waste coal to diesel fuel and electricity on a large scale. The plant has received support from DOE's Clean Coal Power Initiative.
Coal research and development provides huge benefits for the nation, and pay for itself many times over through taxes flowing back to the Treasury from expanded economic activity.
The clean coal programs are important for several reasons. They: Clean up the environment by burning waste coal; reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and air toxics; develop cleaner, more efficient power systems; sponsor promising technologies that are too risky for private industry to undertake alone; provide a model for future government-industry technology partnerships; and provide tremendous job opportunities in this country, not in the Middle East.
In 2002, President Bush said, "We will promote clean coal technology." The President recently outlined four important objectives that need to be included in this energy bill. These objectives are all met by clean coal programs: Encourage the use of technology to improve conservation; encourage more production at home in environmentally sensitive ways; diversify our energy supply by developing alternative sources of energy and create more energy choices; and help us find better, more reliable ways to deliver energy to consumers.
We need to take advantage of our own natural resources. I encourage my colleagues to continue to support clean coal programs.
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