Hoeven Introduces Legislation to Reinstate & Preserve Mission of the National Coal Council

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, this week introduced the Coal Council Certainty Act to reinstate the National Coal Council (NCC), a federal advisory committee that provided advice, recommendations and insights to the Department of Energy (DOE) on issues related to the coal industry. The NCC was originally established in 1984 and was comprised of coal producers and consumers, carbon researchers, academics, environmentalists and policy experts. The council’s core mission was to advance innovation and technological development, enabling the U.S. to continue utilizing its abundant coal resources while improving environmental stewardship.

However, DOE allowed the NCC’s charter to expire in November, with the intention to re-charter the council and change its focus away from the responsible development and more innovative uses of coal. In response, Hoeven’s legislation would permanently extend the NCC’s charter as it existed prior to its expiration, preserving the council’s core mission.

“Coal remains a reliable, affordable and vastly abundant energy source in America,” said Senator Hoeven “President Biden continues to undermine the coal industry, threatening the reliability of the electric grid and raising costs for consumers. Now, the administration is attempting to co-opt the National Coal Council as part of this harmful agenda. Our legislation would ensure this important advisory council can continue to advance its core mission of securing coal’s future in our country’s energy mix.”

“American coal is critical for electric generation and manufacturing. The National Coal Council plays a major role in developing coal policy, advancing new technologies, and understanding energy markets. Our legislation will ensure the mission of the Council is protected,” said Senator Barrasso, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“West Virginians know all too well the damage anti-coal policies from Washington, D.C. can inflict on our communities,” said Senator Capito. “The National Coal Council provides important policy recommendations and perspectives to the Department of Energy, and it was a mistake by this administration to not renew its charter last month. The Coal Council Certainty Act would ensure the council’s charter is permanently extended and energy-producing states like West Virginia continue to have a seat at the table when it comes to coal policy, technology, and markets.”

“Joe Biden has done everything in his power to undermine the reliable, affordable, and abundant energy we are blessed with in North Dakota – coal. Letting the National Coal Council’s charter expire last month is latest attack in the Democrats’ longtime war on coal. Our bill codifies and reinstates the charter of this critical advisory committee, which provides a platform for the commonsense and exceptionalism of North Dakotans to influence federal coal policy,” said Senator Cramer.

“The National Coal Council has helped coal communities in Montana have a strong voice at the Department of Energy. We need to continue to support and bolster the Council and the jobs and energy coal produces in Montana,” said Senator Daines.

“Since day one, the Biden administration has taken a hostile approach to coal,” said Lummis. “They are actively trying to eliminate it without any plan to transition our energy needs or the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be impacted by its elimination. Many of those impacted jobs will be in my home state of Wyoming, the coal capital of the nation. The Biden administration’s decision to allow the National Coal Council charter to expire is shortsighted and damaging to our energy independence. I am glad to cosponsor this important measure with Senator Hoeven.”

In addition to Hoeven, the Coal Council Certainty Act is cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). A companion to the bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.). Senator Hoeven previously joined Senator Barrasso and Rep. McKinley in sending a letter urging DOE to re-charter the NCC as-is in October 2021.