Secretary of Energy Rick Perry was in West Virginia on Thursday, touring facilities in Monongalia County that are studying and implementing new ways of producing power.
He was joined by Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Congressman David McKinley to visit Longview Power.
"Coal can be used in a responsible way," said Secretary Perry. "In an economically powerful way and in a way that makes America more secure."
Secretary Perry's tour of Longview Power Plant and its coal supplier Mepco, focused on the plant's high efficiency low emissions approach, making it the most efficient and one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in North America.
"This technology, this ability to deliver a secure, an economical, an environmentally good source of energy is really important," the Secretary said after the tour.
Technology that state representatives believe could and should be used to build similar plants across the country.
"What we've learned is nobody's building these because of the last eight years have been very tough for the coal business," said Senator Capito. "We've learned they're in Japan, and Germany, in Korea. Everywhere else except here."
"We've reached a point now where we have a chance not only to be energy independent, but energy dominant," added Congressman McKinley. "Countries around the world are looking to the United states to be able to use the technology we're developing here."
Longview Power produces over 700 megawatts, powering approximately 700,000 house, of baseload power.
The plant also detailed its other advances for the Secretary, including the world's largest LNG facility, allowing it to start-up when there is a natural gas shortage, an issue they said is regional because of lack of infrastructure to distribute the gas.
Secretary Perry's visit comes as the Department of Energy conducts a grid reliability study, to assess whether federal regulations have impacted reliable power supplied by facilities like Longview.
"You lose your electrical power and you have chaos ensue," he said. "The Northeastern part of this country and the massive populations centers that are there, were we to lose the ability to run our hospitals, to keep commerce going that is devastating to this country."
Senator Manchin also touted coal as a reliable power source.
"You have to have reliable, uninterrupted power," he said. "What you're seeing out there is uninterrupted. When it burns you've got electricity. Gas can be interrupted."
While the visit was heavily focused on coal, Secretary Perry did say that the future of America's success is tied to energy production, and that the administration is not disregarding wind, solar, hydro or any other energy sources.
"Having a diverse portfolio is important for America," he continued. "It's important for America's economy. It's important for America's security. It's important for uh America's place in the world. We need it all. We're gonna support it all."
On Thursday afternoon, the Secretary, Senators and Congressman visited the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown.