Treasury Policy Has America Leaving Millions of Poor in Perpetual Darkness

Statement by Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, regarding the U.S. Treasury Department’s new guidance aimed at ending public financing of overseas coal-fired power plants:

“More than a billion people in the world lack electricity and another 1.6 billion have only limited access. They will never have it in their lifetimes without coal to supply it, since coal is the only energy source abundant and cheap enough to bring massive additions in electricity supply to the developing world.

“The U.S. has the world’s largest coal reserves and coal is the world’s number one energy source for electricity by far. All this misguided policy does is further diminish prospects for millions of the world’s poor, and is thus out of character from a nation that has historically prided itself for reaching out to the needs of those in deprived circumstances.

“In addition to ignoring the hundreds of millions in perpetual darkness, the administration’s policy turns its back on the opportunity to create more middle class jobs and increase the U.S. GDP, making it a lose-lose proposition. The demand for affordable coal powered electricity in the developing world will be filled by other nations who are stepping up to fulfill that need, while the U.S. will lose the economic and employment gains not only for domestic coal miners, but for the related heavy equipment, transportation and manufacturing sectors, that likewise stand to benefit.”