In the fall of 1984, Secretary of Energy Don Hodel announced the establishment of the National Coal Council (NCC). In creating the NCC, Secretary Hodel noted that "The Reagan Administration believes the time has come to give coal - our most abundant fossil fuel - the same voice within the federal government that has existed for petroleum for nearly four decades."
The Council was tasked to assist government and industry in determining ways to improve cooperation in areas of coal research, production, transportation, marketing and use. On that day in 1984, the Secretary named 23 individuals to serve on the Council, noting that these initial appointments indicate that “the Department intends to have a diverse spectrum of the highest caliber of individuals who are committed to improving the role coal can lay in both our Nation's and the world's energy future."
Throughout its 30-year history, the NCC has maintained its focus on providing guidance to the Secretary of Energy on various aspects of the coal industry. NCC has retained its original charge to represent a diversity of perspectives through its varied membership and continues to welcome members with extensive experience and expertise related to coal.
In 1985, the NCC was incorporated as a 501c6 non-profit organization in the State of Virginia. Serving as an umbrella organization, NCC, Inc. manages the business aspects of running the Council. The leadership of the NCC serves as officers of NCC Inc. and members of the Council serve as NCC Inc. shareholders. The Executive Director of the Council is NCC Inc.'s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Today, the NCC continues to serve as an advisory group to the Secretary of Energy, chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The NCC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on general policy matters relating to coal and the coal industry.
The Council activities include providing the Secretary with advice on:
The principal activity of the NCC is to prepare reports for the Secretary of Energy. The NCC's Coal Policy Committee develops prospective topics for the Secretary's consideration as potential subjects for NCC studies. During its 30-year history, the NCC has prepared more than 30 studies for the Secretary, at no cost to the Department of Energy. All NCC studies are publicly available on the NCC website.
The NCC is a totally self-sustaining organization; it receives no funds from the Federal government. The activities and operations of the NCC are funded solely from member contributions, the investment of Council reserves and generous sponsors.