Late last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration published their “Today in Energy” and featured coal reserves. According to the report, “The United States leads the world with over 260 billion short tons of proven recoverable coal reserves—28% of global reserves. Recoverable domestic coal reserves, at current mining levels, would last 222 years.”

I find it ironic that we have one government agency touting our coal reserves while another agency does everything it can to limit the use of coal. Affordable energy is key to manufacturers’ ability to compete. We can ill afford to lock away any sources of energy that can help manufacturers better compete. We have an energy policy in this country being set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instead of Congress.

President Obama’s decision to shelve the unachievable and unaffordable ozone standards proposed by the EPA was appropriate but long overdue. There are a whole slew of other EPA regulations that we need to deal with from Boiler MACT, to Utility MACT to coal ash as well as permitting delays for OCS drilling and threats of regulation on shale exploration and fracking. We need the White House to lead and make decisions that provide an environment where job creation is possible and not stifled by poorly thought out regulations. 

Chip Yost is vice president for energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.