HARRISBURG – The state Senate unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the president and federal lawmakers to impose tariffs on imported anthracite coal on Wednesday, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).
Anthracite coal industries in Russia, Ukraine and China are heavily subsidized by their respective governments, allowing producers to reduce prices for exports below market value.
Senate Resolution 54, sponsored by Argall, would call on federal officials to place tariffs on imported anthracite coal in order to level the playing field.
“When it is cheaper to import foreign energy from halfway around the globe than it is to produce the same thing in our own backyard, we have a real issue,” Argall said. “We should be standing up for own energy production in Pennsylvania and in the United States, but instead this federal administration continues to hamstring domestic energy production while giving countries like Russia and China a free pass. Brian Rich of Reading Anthracite summed up the issue best at our Pottsville public hearing when he said that other countries have a war for coal, but in the United States, we have a war on coal.”
The measure was the topic of a state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee public hearing in June in Pottsville.
The anthracite industry accounts for more than 1,000 jobs in the state and contributes approximately $200 million to the state’s economy, according to the Pennsylvania Anthracite Council.
During the hearing, President and CEO Greg Driscoll of Blaschak Coal Corporation, based in Mahanoy City, suggested that leveling the playing field in terms of foreign subsidies could result in the creation of up to 12,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania.
The resolution will be sent to President Obama, members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation and leaders in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.