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Manchin to speak at D.C. coal symposium

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will be one of four U.S. senators delivering opening remarks at a coal technology symposium in Washington, D.C., on March 5.

The event is sponsored by West Virginia University and the University of North Dakota. It runs from 1-6 p.m. in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Room.

The four senators have been allotted 30 minutes total for their opening remarks. The other three, along with Manchin, are Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joseph Donnelly, D-Ind., and Mark Warner, D-Va.

The symposium's program features presentations by experts from government, industry, academia and environmental groups. They will present updates on current and near-term technology options for coal-based power. Topics to be discussed in detail are reducing coal's impact on greenhouse gas emissions; increasing the performance of the existing coal fleet; carbon capture, utilization, and storage; international collaboration; and the future of coal in a carbon-constrained world.

"It is encouraging that experts from government, industry, environmental groups and the academic field will be coming together to have an open and realistic dialogue about America's energy future," Manchin said in a statement released by his office.

"With the end goal of trying to achieve energy independence within a generation and keep energy prices affordable, it is essential to use all of our domestic resources at our disposal, and that includes coal. Coal is currently our most abundant, affordable and reliable energy source and provides the greatest share of electricity we use, generating around 40 percent of our electricity. That is why we must continue to invest in clean coal technologies with reasonable and obtainable standards."