/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association (OCA) today issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's recently released "Budget Blueprint":
"President Obama should be commended for his continued pledge to invest in clean-coal technology and to build five commercial-scale, coal-fired power plants. However, that commitment seems like mere lip service to the coal industry when considered in the context of his larger proposed investment in renewable energy thanks to an extraordinary 'energy tax' on America's coal operators.
"Again, President Obama has sent a clear signal to coal producers and the thousands of Ohioans who work in the coal industry about his long-term agenda of dramatically restricting the use of coal for electricity. While increasing the role of renewable energy is a laudable goal, it simply is not a comprehensive solution to addressing our nation's rapidly growing demand for electricity.
"Regardless of the final provisions of this proposal, one thing is certain: consumers will pay more for electricity. And during an economic crisis, that's about the last thing our working families need. Even supporters of the plan - including the President himself - acknowledge there will be significant price increases for electricity customers.
"Coal provides electricity at about half the cost of other fossil fuels. In Ohio, we have an almost 250 year supply of coal, and clean-coal technology is the key to maximizing the use of those reserves.
"Furthermore, domestic coal holds the key to our nation's long-term energy security - a goal that cannot be overlooked during this time of unprecedented economic instability.
"Access to reliable, affordable energy supplies is a core tenet of economic growth, and any U.S. energy policy change must be feasible to implement, economically beneficial and environmentally sound."