Coal, Gas

Industrial consumers say energy bill as drafted will not solve natural gas crisis


WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2003 — In a letter to Senator Domenici and Representative Tauzin, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) concludes the current draft of the Energy Policy Act of 2003 will not solve the nation’s natural gas crisis.

The letter says, “provisions in the act will neither increase near-term production of natural gas nor increase the use of coal-based electricity generation.” IECA believes these two areas should be the highest priority for the conferees.

America is in the grips of a natural gas crisis that will get worse before it gets better and the proposed legislation does not put us on a path to correcting this serious problem, says Paul N. Cicio, Executive Director of the group.

“The major causes of the crisis are insufficient natural gas production, too much demand growth by the utility power sector, not enough natural gas storage capacity, and barriers to increased use of coal by electric utilities.”

IECA’s policy recommendations in priority order are: extend and increase Section 29 tax credits; place a temporary moratorium on inefficient natural gas fired power plants that do not use combined heat and power technology (CHP); accelerate the drilling permit approval process; open up additional federal lands to drilling; increase storage capacity; and require a study be performed on any federal mandate to determine the impact on natural gas prices to consumers.

IECA also believes the clean coal provisions are inadequate to assure near and long-term growth in the most advanced retrofit and new coal-fired generation technology, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology.

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA), is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization created to promote the interests of manufacturing companies for which the availability, use and cost of energy, power or feedstock play a significant role in their ability to compete in domestic and world markets.