Comments of Representative Doug Lamborn to the American Coal Council’s Coal Market Strategies Conference
Congressman Doug Lamborn. 5th District of Colorado in the US House of Representatives
August 23, 2011
Editor’s note: We invited Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) to speak to the attendees of our 2011 Coal Market Strategies conference, held Aug. 22 to 24 in Colorado Springs, CO. A portion of the Congressman’s speech is reprinted below.
While there is no escaping the very real threat posed by anti-coal regulations and government action that has been aimed at “bankrupting the coal industry,” we can’t forget that our industry is populated by thousands of extremely creative and resourceful people. Despite the barriers and challenges we face, the people in this industry consistently find a way to succeed. Congressman Lamborn’s comments mirrored that industry-wide mix of sincere concern over questionable policy decisions and steadfast resolve to continue the efficient use of our nation’s most abundant and affordable fossil fuel resource.
Welcome to the beautiful 5th Congressional District of Colorado, which I have the honor of representing in Congress. Thank you for inviting me to join you here this morning. It is truly an honor to be here with you today. […] My staff and I have the privilege of interacting with some of your companies on a frequent basis.
I currently serve as the Chairman of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee on the Committee of Natural Resources in the House. My subcommittee oversees domestic energy production and mining on federal lands – both onshore and offshore. Our jurisdiction includes the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service’s energy and minerals programs, and the U.S. Geological Survey. More specifically, my subcommittee is the authorizing committee for all energy and minerals programs on the 2.5 billion acre federal estate.
These programs generate billions of dollars for federal, state, and local treasuries, create vast numbers of high-paying family-wage jobs, and contribute significantly to the energy and mineral needs of the country. Republicans on my Subcommittee are committed to being environmentally responsible, job-friendly, and attentive to the consumer as we develop America’s vast energy and mineral resources.
I have served on the House Committee on Natural Resources during my entire five-year tenure in the House of Representatives and am familiar with many of the issues facing the coal industry. As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee during the 111th Congress, and, now as Chairman, I am even more deeply involved than ever in the oversight of the mining process and with the regulatory battles that currently challenge the industry as a whole.
As you know, coal was instrumental in the rise of the United States as a nation. It helped fuel the United States’ ascent to economic greatness. We became an industrialized force to be reckoned with and the greatest and largest economy on the face of the Earth. This would not have been possible without coal.
The impact of coal nowadays is no less evident. Today, coal keeps the United States strong by providing low-cost electricity that allows us to remain a leader in an increasingly competitive and challenging global economy. Coal supplies about one-half of our electricity needs in this country. It provides well-paying jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans in the coal, rail, and electric utility sectors. Coal is the backbone of our baseload power fleet. It is reliable and it is cheap and it is ours. Nine out of every ten tons of coal mined each year in the U.S. are used for domestic electricity generation. We don’t have to import it from overseasor even cross friendly borders to get our supply.