HARRISBURG – As part of ARIPPA’s Annual Technical Symposium and Trade Show, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) spoke to the group during their luncheon meeting about the past, present, and future of the anthracite coal industry and energy markets in Pennsylvania.
The senator noted that the anthracite coal industry and ARIPPA’s coal refuse-fueled power plants across the state play a pivotal role in environmental remediation by removing coal piles, cleaning up the underlying land and restoring impacted water resources without shifting these costs to public sources. According to a recent report by Econsult Solutions, since its inception, these power plants have removed and utilized as fuel more than 200 million tons of coal refuse, improved or restored more than 1,200 miles of streams and reclaimed more than 7,000 acres of abandoned mine lands. Moreover, the annual economic and environmental benefits of the coal refuse industry to PA is a combined $780 million per year, including the creation of 3,600 jobs with total earnings exceeding $220 million per year.
“Over the last 50 years in the district I represent in Berks and Schuylkill Counties, I have seen some amazing improvements. Our waterways are much less polluted, and there are many fewer abandoned strip mines. The Schuylkill River flows cleaner in Berks and Schuylkill Counties, which allows our fish to survive in their natural habitat, as well as offers citizens many recreational opportunities to engage in such as fishing, rafting and boating. Your industry has been a key partner in these improvements as we continue to correct the mistakes of the past.”
Senator Argall discussed “the progress we have seen is a true, public-private partnership. You and I know the truth: the government, by itself, could have never, ever completed these achievements without your help.”