Energy reliability, coal-burning plants will be topic of discussion –
Story and photo by Patricia Beech –
Commissioner Ty Pell will be meeting with Doug Matheney, Special Assistant to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, in the near future to discuss the importance of keeping Adams County’s coal-burning power plants operational.
“We’re trying to get a date settled,” said Pell. “I told him I would make myself available as soon as he is ready to meet.”
Matheney ran the Ohio operation of the Count on Coal Campaign, which attacked the Clean Power Plan and other regulations that would make it harder to burn coal for electricity.
The meeting comes on the heels of the Ohio County Commissioner’s Conference held last month in Washington, DC.
Both Commissioner Pell and Commissioner Diane Ward attended the event. Both commissioners paid for the trip from their own personal funds.
Pell said he hoped to discuss energy reliability and the negative consequences of shutting down the J.M. Stuart and Killen power plants.
“Coal is our country’s number one source of reliable energy,” he said. “Gas has to be pumped in and if something happens to the gas line, we don’t have any way to produce electricity, but coal is on site and can be burned as long as it remains there.”
Pell said the current gas line infrastructure supporting the nation’s gas-burning power plants is inadequate to deal with the task.
The purpose of the Commissioner’s Conference was to develop a working relationship between the federal government agencies and Ohio’s county leaders.
“I believe this collaborative effort between federal and local government is a step in the right direction,” said Commissioner Ward. “An open-door policy was verbally extended by each agency representative to the local governments.”
Ward said she hopes that relationship will enhance and strengthen efforts between local government and federal agencies.
“I am totally in agreement with President Trump’s changes to grant classification availability in which grants are now established for rural and metropolitan communities, which has made funding more accessible for rural communities compared to the grants in the past which forced rural communities to compete against the metropolitan areas for grant dollars.”
Ward said the highlight of the conference was an unexpected visit from Vice President Mike Pence
“His encouraging words and willingness to actually work with rural government was quite impressive,” said Ward. “It is my opinion that the inclusion of local government will assist in making America great again, and I look forward to participating in this new relationship.”