FRANKFORT, Ky. (5/9/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today delivered the opening remarks on his Subcommittee’s hearing, entitled “American Energy Security and Innovation: Grid Reliability Challenges in a Shifting Energy Resource Landscape.” In his opening remarks, Whitfield expressed the importance of coal in the nation’s domestic energy portfolio.
“The proportion of electricity we get from coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, and non-hydro renewables has remained relatively constant over the last several decades,” stated Whitfield in his opening remarks. “Most significantly, we are seeing a sharp drop in coal use and its replacement with natural gas. Part of this is due to market forces, namely the increased supply and relatively low price of domestic natural gas. But part is also the result of policy decisions made in Washington, particularly EPA’s regulatory attack on coal.
“I for one strongly oppose EPA’s regulatory onslaught and will continue to fight against these anti-coal rules. But the point of this hearing is that these changes to the generation mix are occurring, and it is important that we think through what must be done to ensure that the lights stay on and that electric bills are affordable in the years ahead.”
Whitfield also questioned the reliability of renewable energy sources such as wind and coal.
“The federal and state policies that have given a boost to wind and solar power could easily backfire if we don’t address the difficulties of integrating these intermittent sources into the electric grid. Homeowners and businesses need electricity whether or not the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and the supply at any moment must match the demand. This is nearly impossible to do with intermittent renewables that are not readily available.”
Whitfield has been a longstanding advocate for Kentucky coal. Recently, he received the Washington Coal Club’s 2012 Annual Achievement Award, which recognizes Whitfield’s commitment to ensuring that America will continue to enjoy the countless benefits that coal-fired electricity provides.
Information provided by Chris Pack
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