Contact Information 
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
115 Ryan Office Bldg.
PO Box 202073
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2073
Phone: (717) 787-7099
Fax: (717) 782-2922
Critical Coal Legislation
4/30/2014
By State Rep. Tommy Sankey
74th Legislative District

Press conferences are usually held to announce information that is new and different. What was unveiled at an event I recently attended in Harrisburg was unfortunately the same old story...and that’s good.

Statistics released by the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance at an April 28 press conference demonstrate not only our increasing dependence on coal, but the precious mineral’s continued impact on our lives. The coal industry supports more than 36,000 jobs across the state, and Pennsylvania is our country’s fourth-largest coal-producing state. Coal contributes more than $4 billion per year to our economy and is responsible for generating 44 percent of the electricity we use.

Despite these facts, coal’s reputation remains dirty. It is said to threaten our quality of life in many ways. We are told coal is not the “green” energy technology we should be moving toward. To that end, more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants around the country will close and another 36 plants could also be forced to shut down as a result of new Environmental Protection Agency rules regulating air pollution.

The coal industry has not turned a deaf ear. Lower sulfur coal is being used, underperforming plants are being shut down and existing plants are being outfitted with technology that limits emissions. Despite these efforts, the federal government continues its war on coal (some have questioned my use of the term “war.” My choice of words reflects my serious concern for the threat to Pennsylvania’s job market and economy).

To that end, I am co-sponsoring House Bill 2030. This legislation would create the Coal-Fired Electric Generation Facility Deactivation Commission to study and approve the deactivation of coal-fired electric generation facilities in the Commonwealth. Duties of the commission include the ability to approve, delay or deny applications for certification to deactivate a coal-fired electric generation facility.

Any operator wishing to deactivate a coal-fired electric generation facility would first have to notify the commission one year prior to the proposed date of deactivation and the commission would have to issue a certificate of deactivation. An operator that has commenced deactivation of a facility within the 12 months immediately preceding the effective date of the act would need to apply for a certificate, and also provide a public notice at least 30 days prior to filing the application for the certificate. You can read more about the bill at www.legis.state.pa.us.

House Bill 2030 sits with the House Consumer Affairs Committee, which is chaired by state Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery). The bill’s author, Rep. Pam Snyder
(D-Fayette/Greene/Washington) tells me hearings on the legislation will be held in the near future. I look forward to attending those hearings.

The balancing act between environmental and economic impact can often be difficult to achieve. Wiping coal off the face of the energy map would be devastating to the wallets of consumers in more ways than one. Reliance on coal should be part of a balanced energy portfolio, as every investment strategy should be. House Bill 2030 forces us to take a long, hard look at energy decisions before they are hastily made.

Questions about this or any legislative topic should be directed to my Clearfield office at (814) 765-0609 or my Osceola Mills office at (814) 339-6544.

Representative Tommy Sankey
74th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137
slittle@pahousegop.com  
RepSankey.com / Facebook.com/RepSankey
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