The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 154, who build and maintain coal-fired power plants, held a rally during morning rush hour near their offices on Banksville Road to raise awareness for clean coal technology.
President Barack Obama called for "rapid commercial development and deployment of clean coal technologies" in a presidential memorandum on February 3, 2010, and the Department of Energy is investing billions to study and implement such technologies. Earlier this month, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu awarded $1 Billion for the world's first coal-fueled, near-zero emissions power plant to be built in Illinois.
But Raymond Ventrone, the Boilermakers' business manager, says although organized labor put the Obama administration into office, Vice President Joe Biden failed to mention coal at the National Building Trades Conference in April, which made Ventrone question the administration's commitment to coal, which he says is so important in Pennsylvania.
Ventrone says almost 1,000 members at this morning's rally got their message out, but if they don't get the reaction they're looking for, they'll take their concerns to Washington.