State Senator Art Kirkendoll has reported that the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) will add their voice to the growing list of those concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) energy regulations and America’s energies.
Kirkendoll says the SSEB represents 16 states and two territories, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The SSEB held their annual meeting in October in Biloxi, Miss.
“I represent West Virginia on the Southern States Energy Board,” Kirkendoll said. “The basic content of the board is American’s future as far as being an energy producer… to understand where we are at now, where we need to go and what we need to do to get to the next level.”
Kirkendoll said it was reported that Germany has surpassed China as the leader in using American coal.
“We have some very unique questions as to why we can’t get into the position to compete to be the number one supplier of coal in the entire world,” Kirkendoll said. “We have more coal than anybody else. We have more gas and oil. We have energy to make our country self-dependent on energy and supply the rest of the world.”
Kirkendoll said the opportunity to supply other countries with coal is now.
“The dependency is there and it would create quality jobs. People would have good healthcare and qualified salaries,” Kirkendoll said. “That is here, now we got to figure out how to do that.”
Kirkendoll said the United States has many more regulations compared to the rest of the world.
“The competition is level, but the playing field is not level,” Kirkendoll said.
During the annual meeting, Kirkendoll said the SSEB put together some resolutions to send to the EPA.
“We did put some resolutions together as a group to implore the EPA to give us an opportunity to get permits and do things in the right fashion,” Kirkendoll said. “Sometimes a qualified permit may take, now, three, four or five years to get. The uncertainly of the coal industry is keeping people from investing money to produce this type of energy. Other countries in the world are finding that coal is the most dependable, the most affordable and with open arms they are saying ‘bring it to us.’”
Kirkendoll said we shouldn’t be the country that has to wait to get a ship full of oil into our borders for people to have dependable energy needs.
“It is here,” Kirkendoll said. “It is sad to say, but other states that do other things besides coal is getting EPA regulated as well.”
Kirkendoll said people are beginning to learn that the EPA has overstepped their boundaries on their regulatory powers.
“We have to keep pounding common sense statements and combine efforts from legislators from all the country,” Kirkendoll said. “I think when the voice get loud enough they have got to listen.”