Del. Linda Phillips says she thinks coal will be one of several energy forms which will be in use in the nation’s future.
Phillips is a member of the Southern States Energy Board, a non-profit organization whose members stretch across a 16-state area as far south as Florida and as far west as Texas.
“I don’t think (the country) should rely on one energy source, and I think coal is going to have to be part (of the future) as a good energy source,” she commented.
The SSEB meets annually. Governors and legislators make up the board.
“We discuss all forms of energy,” Phillips commented. “Nuclear reactors, green energy, wind energy and others. And we discuss EPA issues.”
Attending the meetings “is very interesting,” she added. “They go into depth on energy issues, and a lot of it is eye opening.”
West Virginia currently has one state senator and two delegates as board members.
“When Joe Manchin was governor, he was the present (of the SSEB), and that’s when I was appointed,” Phillips remarked.
Meetings have been held at The Greenbrier and in Atlanta. This year’s event is at Oklahoma City, but Phillips says she won’t be able to attend.
“It helps me understand what other states are going through,” she stated. “I’m focused on coal and the EPA. Other states are dealing with a lot of the same issues, just with a different energy source.
“I want the environment to be good,” she pointed out. “But I also want us to have a productive coal industry.”
A couple of recent court cases have gone against the EPA and in coal’s favor.
“West Virginia is going to have to learn to deal with the EPA,” Phillips said. “We took the issues to court, and the EPA saw that we’re not just going to lay down and let them roll over us.
“We have so many power companies and steel companies,” she noted. “You can’t expect to switch things over in two months and have everything go smoothly.”