Weather Forecast


Letter: New EPA rules shift US away from balanced energy system

Most people agree a healthy balance of energy resources, including coal, is essential for energy security. Recently, the Environment Protection Agency released new rules that would move away from an all-of-the-above approach and focus on sources that are neither affordable nor reliable.

If the government chooses to mandate an expansion of renewable sources while further restricting the use of coal, it could come at a high price to hard-working families in the Upper Midwest. Many in the middle class already spend a disproportionate amount of their take-home pay on food and other staples whose costs would increase if energy prices continue to rise.

There’s a common-sense approach to keeping energy prices low, and that is making sure coal remains a part of our energy mix, along with other traditional sources of energy, including renewables.

Coal helps the manufacturing sector in Minnesota and North Dakota produce goods for you and your family, and provides jobs and opportunity for all. Furthermore, much of that coal power comes from North Dakota, which was recently recognized by the American Lung Association for its clean air standards. In fact, the industry has already spent $2 billion to improve the technology for coal-fired power plants.

As someone who works every day with small-business owners, I can attest to how important affordable energy is for our businesses to be able to compete regionally in this diverse marketplace. Using an all-of-the-above approach is the only way to ensure everyone, businesses and families alike, will have access to the affordable energy so vital to our lives and our economy.

While policymakers are setting the agenda for our region, let’s be sure to remind them that the only way to have energy security in the future is to use a strategy including a mix of resources. We don’t need politicians picking winners and losers in our local economies.

Elmer, Moorhead, is the regional director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota/North Dakota.