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Energy director to share thoughts with Chamber at annual meeting

Oct. 21, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

"Energy makes America great."

It's a simple, bumper sticker statement, but it's the core of what Marita Noon will be speaking about Nov. 1 at the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce's 8th annual Energy & Natural Resource Symposium, and she has amassed much research on the topic.

Noon is executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc., and its companion organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).

And she plans to be speaking about the importance of domestic energy in the nation's economy and sharing her thoughts on the upcoming presidential election.

"I will certainly be talking about the general importance of coal and, in greater perspective, all of America's natural resources such as coal, gas, uranium," she said. "We're really being lied to as a country from the administration. We are told we need to have wind and solar power and those things are going to help us be energy independent, and that is a huge lie because wind and solar do nothing to make us energy independent. Wind and solar create electricity. We have no shortage of electricity in this country. ... The only energy we import is oil, and now we know we have enough of that as well. We have no energy shortage. We have an access shortage."

The symposium is planned for 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington. It will be followed by a reception.

Along with Noon, the speakers will include a panel from throughout the region: Nick Carter, president and COO of Natural Resource Partners L.P.; Charles Patton, president and COO of Appalachian Power; and Stephen Kopp, president of Marshall.

Noon will travel to West Virginia from New Mexico -- a state with coal, natural gas and uranium -- and has focused her career as a writer and speaker on promotion of domestic energy.

In a phone interview Friday, she expressed concern about the stifling effect that heightened Environmental Protection Agency regulations have had on coal and oil companies, the jobs they provide and the affordability of the energy they help produce.

While many have wondered why the United States doesn't have a national energy policy, "I say we do have an energy policy in this country," Noon said. "President Obama's policy is for us to use less but pay more. When you look at countries with the best human health and most material wealth, they are the countries with the highest energy consumption. Energy, gross domestic product, health and wealth are all so closely connected. Why, then, do we have a president who wants us to have less energy and pay more for it? ... Obama's policies intentionally drive up the cost of electricity."

The United States has "so much coal, and really coal is the best for base loads," she said. "The fact that we're transitioning to natural gas for electricity generation -- that's an OK thing. Natural gas has other uses -- in chemistry, as a fertilizer, to heat homes ... It should be left for those other things. It's a matter of using fuel sources for what they're best at."

Noon also has thoughts to share on reports of climate change, which new research out of England challenges, she said. Noon has also written extensively about her research on government funded green energy business ventures, their success/failure rate and their cost to taxpayers.

She wants to see more permits issued and investment in businesses focused on safe use of the country's fossil fuels.

"With a new leader with a different ideology, we can see a huge difference," she said. "I give out bumper stickers that say 'Energy makes America great.' It's really key to getting this country moving."