Posted on June 1, 2023
HARRISBURG – State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) and Sen. Jim Brewster (D-45) along with Rep. Frank Burns (D-72) and Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-62) today announced they will serve as co-chairs for the Legislative Coal Caucus during the 2023-2024 session.
The Coal Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative caucus that focuses on supporting and enhancing Pennsylvania’s coal mining industry. The caucus serves as a forum through which legislators can become more educated about the coal industry and its significant economic value to local communities, manufacturers, and energy ratepayers.
“Our coal industry has faced some serious headwinds due, in large part, to costly and burdensome federal and state mandates over the years,” Senator Gene Yaw said. “These mandates have had a tremendous impact on our miners, their families and our communities that depend on a strong coal economy. It is critical that we present a unified voice for the industry moving forward, and I am happy to join with my colleagues to advocate on their behalf.”
Pennsylvania is the third largest coal-producing state in the United States with production totaling over 42 million tons from sixteen different counties in 2022. Pennsylvania coal, in addition to being used for power generation, is used to produce steel and cement.
“Pennsylvania, and specifically my district, has had a long history with coal. It is used not only to heat and cool our homes but is also a critical component in manufacturing steel, helping to create thousands of jobs in the steel industry,” Senator Jim Brewster said. “Our ability to compete in an international marketplace, produce quality products and be a leader in manufacturing is tied to coal being an essential element in a range of energy options.”
Bituminous coal mining helps drive Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting nearly 18,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, while contributing $4 billion annually to the state’s economy. The coal industry provides family-sustaining wages and creates this economic value in communities across Pennsylvania, with multiple company locations in more than half of our counties. The industry accounts for 25 percent of the employment in some regions, up to 40 percent of the local tax base, and often serves as a community’s financial cornerstone for economic development.
“The coal industry is not only part of our commonwealth’s history, but also a significant part of our present,” said Rep. Frank Burns. “Coal is an affordable and reliable source of energy, it heats our homes, generates our electricity, and contributes to our industrial growth.”
Coal continues to be an essential source of power generation both in Pennsylvania and the 13 state PJM interconnection. During periods of high demand, coal plants are consistently relied upon when other generation sources are diverted or are not available for generation.
“Many of our neighboring states depend on Pennsylvania as an energy exporter and coal is a big reason why,” said Rep. Jim Struzzi. “As a member of this caucus, I’m more than happy to go to bat for this still-abundant natural resource that must be part of Pennsylvania’s future in a balanced energy portfolio.”
There are currently over 60 members of the Legislative Coal Caucus.
For more information on the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Coal Caucus, visit the Caucus homepage at: https://coal.pasenategop.com/
For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.