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District Offices
315 East Market Street
Suite 100
Clearfield, PA 16830

(814) 765-0609

Fax: (814) 765-0592

264 Haida Avenue
Suite A1
Hastings, PA 16646.
Phone (814) 247-6210
Fax (814) 247-6212

Satellite Office 
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
600 Lingle Street, Suite 100
Osceola Mills, PA 16666
Phone: (814) 339-6544
Fax: (814) 339-6546

Capitol Office
149B East Wing
PO Box 202073
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2073
Phone: (717) 787-7099
Fax: (717) 782-2922
King Coal, But for How Long?

By State Rep. Tommy Sankey
74th Legislative District

President Barack Obama recently unveiled his climate change plan. Its details have come under attack, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has responded by saying the United States government is not waging a “war on coal.” Regardless of your opinion, a few facts need to be laid on the table with regard to coal.

Pennsylvania is the fourth leading coal-producing state in the country. We are also the only state producing anthracite coal, which has a higher heat value than other kinds of coal. Our mining industry employs more than 41,000 people and is a major source of tax revenue on the local, state and federal level (approximately $700 million altogether). All told, coal’s economic benefit to the state is estimated to exceed $7 billion.

From a consumer perspective, coal is the source of electricity for more than half the state and about half the country. Pennsylvania is a major player in the energy field, as our abundance of coal allows us to be the largest net exporter of electric power in the United States.

Coal is by far the least expensive fuel on a dollar-per-million BTU basis for electric generation. The latest estimates have a move away from coal increasing the average electric bill by approximately $9, not cents, per month.

State Rep. Ron Miller (R-York County) is majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, of which I am a member. He will be conducting meetings with committee members to review the president’s proposals and their impact on our state.

They can say what they want, but it is safe to assume the impact of the Obama plan on our state would be significant. It would hit your wallet in more ways than one.

Coal does have a bad reputation from an environmental perspective. But as coal use has increased, technological advances have allowed it to be processed in a cleaner manner. Also, the resurging demand for anthracite has resulted in the re-mining of old abandoned sites, which reduces acid mine drainage as operators extract the coal and backfill the re-affected area to keep water on the surface.

Please know that, as your state representative, I will do all I can to fight for the coal industry that puts workers in the mines, food on the table and electricity in your home.  

Questions about this or any other legislative topic may be directed to me via email at or through my Facebook page at  

Representative Tommy Sankey
74th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Scott Little
717.260.6137 /
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