For decades, Americans have been told that the United States is an energy resource poor nation.
Well, a curious thing happened after the United States began to drill more oil and natural gas wells: the price of oil, gasoline and natural gas fell. While domestic oil and gas production was once in decline, there now exist significant quantities of these resources produced year-over-year. The outcome has been lower energy prices for consumers and many thousands of new jobs.
In addition to new sources of oil and natural gas, the United States also possesses significant quantities of coal, enough to last us for over a hundred years. Southern Illinois contains significant coal deposits. In recent years, new technologies have been developed that make it possible to more efficiently produce energy from this coal with far fewer emissions of pollutants.
Unfortunately, despite the successes and benefits of these new technologies, there remain those opposed to any use of fossil fuels. A particular target has been coal.
As your United States Representative in Congress, please know that I will continue to push for an all-of-the above energy policy that makes use of all our nation’s resources. At a time when American families are struggling with higher bills, and millions are still looking for good paying jobs, better using the resources we’ve got is a moral imperative and just plain common sense.
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WSIL -- Following a federal budget deal on Monday, miners will receive permanent health care benefits.
More than 22,000 retired coal miners were on the verge of losing those benefits because of bankruptcy cases involving coal companies.
Congressman Mike Bost (R) was one of those pushing for this bill.
In a statement today, he said he is "pleased that we have reached a long-term fix on the health care piece."
He said the legislation gives lawmakers "operating room for working on a solution for pensions."
I believe the best way to represent our district is by keeping in touch with its people. That’s why I launched a 12-county tour of the 12th District during the April district work period. Stops on my tour included meetings with groups of constituents in my district offices, laying a wreath to honor our heroes at the VA cemetery in Mound City, volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Alton, reading to elementary school students in Carbondale, hearing from job creators throughout Southern Illinois, and receiving feedback from military spouses in O’Fallon.
Bost, who said his mother’s family is populated with many coal miners, said Congress “has got to go with a permanent fix, not just on the health care, but the pensions.” He said stress and worry about whether both will go away for thousands of retired miners has itself led to more health problems.
“They worked around a very dangerous situation, and all they ask for is these benefits that they negotiated,” Bost said.
In an interview after the panel, Bost said of the takeaways from the meeting one stood out: Illinois needs to be able to use the coal it takes out of the ground.
“Right now we ship a lot of our coal overseas where it is burned in power plants that have no regulation whatsoever," Bost said. "If it’s pumping it into the same atmosphere, we aren’t gaining ground."
He said there is a massive, underused resource in the ground.
“They believe that we have more energy underneath our area, Southern Illinois, [Interstate] 64 south, than Saudi Arabia,” he said.
WSIL-TV -- Thousands of retired coal miners across the nation, including many in southern Illinois, are watching the clock tick down on their retirement benefits.
More than 22,000 retired miners are at risk of losing their health care benefits if Congress does not pass the Miners Protection Act by the end of the month.
"They lose their health insurance, it's terrible. That's why I'm fighting so hard for it," says Congressman Mike Bost of Illinois' 12th District.
As a grandfather of 11, I naturally want to leave my grandchildren with clean air and clean water, which is why I am committed to finding a balance between reasonable environmental regulation and economic prosperity. At a time when American families are struggling to pay the bills and millions are still looking for good paying jobs, better using the resources we already have is not just a moral imperative, it is plain common sense.
We appreciate that Mike Bost, our Republican congressman from Murphysboro, has been strongly behind the Miners Protection Act, and that he has said he wants Congress to address the bankruptcy rules that allow companies to abdicate their responsibility to retirees.