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Energy Secretary Bodman Heads to West Virginia to Promote Energy Bill

July 7, 2005 - 2:00pm

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Secretary Promotes Energizing America for Energy Security

BELLE, WV - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today traveled to West Virginia to urge the Congress to pass comprehensive energy legislation that is now before them. The bill reflects many of the principles of President Bush’s national energy policy including the diversification of America's energy supply to include more alternative and renewable sources; encouraging energy efficiency and conservation; promoting more domestic production in environmentally responsible ways; and modernizing our electricity delivery system to minimize the risk of blackouts. President Bush has called on Congress to pass energy legislation before the August Congressional recess.

"Many of the people locked inside Washington’s Beltway tend to forget just where our energy comes from. They forget that it’s the end result of a long process that began in the mines and coal fields in places like West Virginia," Secretary Bodman said.

As part of his comprehensive energy plan, President Bush announced the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). The initiative will invest $2 billion over ten years to promote research into clean coal technologies, including cutting-edge coal gasification technology that represents one of the best methods of utilizing coal for electricity production, with little-to-no emissions of hazardous air pollutants.

In addition, the President’s energy plan would take a number of critical steps toward ensuring secure, stable supplies of energy. They include promoting the resurgence of nuclear power; promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency; expanding liquefied natural gas importation; and upgrading the nation’s energy infrastructure.

In Belle, WV, Secretary Bodman joined U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito for a tour of the Kanawha River Terminal, before going on to West Virginia University in Morgantown. While at WVU, Secretary Bodman announced $3 million in funding under the University Coal Research Program (UCR), the department’s longest-running student-teacher research grant initiative.

"Coal is our most abundant source of energy, and the University Coal Research Program helps us identify new ways to utilize coal in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way," Secretary Bodman said. "The continued use of coal will have a number of very concrete benefits. It will help support the economy of the great state of West Virginia. It will help lead us to a stable, secure energy future at a time when we know our economy’s appetite for electricity will grow. And it will help us safeguard our skies and rivers and other environmental treasures."

Now in its 26th year, UCR has invested more than $116 million in nearly 1,700 science students and their professors as their work on 685 projects aims to develop clean and efficient technologies for the use of coal. UCR research has developed concepts that are now in commercial practice-from new ways to wash impurities from coal to a spin-off technology that provides more efficient use of carbon inks in office copiers.

After visiting the university, Secretary Bodman toured the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown.

Media contact:
Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940

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