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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the following statement about the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, and her recent public comments dismissing clean coal as imaginary. Barrasso also sent a letter to President Obama requesting clarification on whether Ms. Sutley’s position on clean coal reflects the Administration’s official policy or not.
“The President’s principal environmental policy adviser is directly contradicting the President’s own clean coal task force. What are the American people supposed to believe? Does the President support clean coal or not? Wyoming supports clean coal. We are committed to ensuring the long-term viability of this valuable American resource that provides roughly half of our nation’s electricity. It is time for the President to decide if he shares in our goal or agrees with Ms. Sutley.”
On February 3, 2010, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum establishing a clean coal task force. The Memorandum stated a report on clean coal would be released within 180 days of the Feb. 3rd start date.
Highlights of the Letter:
“Ms. Sutley’s rejection of clean coal undermines your clean coal task force, the Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage. It also calls into question your Administration’s commitment to America’s most affordable, reliable, and abundant energy resource.
“At the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) meeting on July 28, 2010, Ms. Sutley said, ‘Other people have labeled it ‘clean coal’…I don’t know if I would necessarily concede that that is real.’ In addition to ignoring existing technology, these comments directly contradict your Presidential Memorandum establishing a clean coal task force. The Presidential Memorandum states: ‘Charting a path toward clean coal is essential to achieving my Administration’s goals of providing clean energy, supporting American jobs, and reducing emissions of carbon pollution.’ Ms. Sutley is a member of the clean coal task force. It is hard to believe that an Administration official that publicly rejects clean coal is well equipped to chart the ‘path toward clean coal.’
“Given Ms. Sutley’s position as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, I request clarification whether her position on clean coal reflects your Administration’s policy. I also request additional information regarding her role on the clean coal task force. I am committed to ensuring the long-term viability of this valuable American resource. If your Administration truly shares this goal, I encourage you to find personnel that actually support and will help achieve this goal.”