whitfield ed official 300WASHINGTON (3/6/14) — Among the many things Government can do in the broad public interest, and surely among the first things it should do, is to secure an affordable and reliable supply of electricity for its people and its industries.

The blessings of liberty may be secured by laws and custom, but the blessings of modern civilization are unthinkable without electricity, a truly indispensable commodity in the 21st century. Our country has enjoyed the advantage of low-cost electricity for so long that we may be taking it for granted. This may be about to change.

That's the disturbing conclusion we draw from regulations proposed by EPA for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. EPA would require new coal-fired plants to use carbon capture technology that has not yet been proven on a commercial scale for power plants and is very unlikely to be available for at least a decade or more. The deliberate effect is to rule out for future use the one energy source that provides more electricity than any other. The agency's proposal leaves us with little doubt about its intentions for regulating emissions from existing coal plants with a separate rule expected to be proposed this summer.

Aside from the doubtful legality of mandating undemonstrated technology for real world application, EPA's approach is irresponsible as public policy in two ways.
First, the agency is taking a dangerous gamble with the nation's economy. By removing coal from future use, EPA weakens if not destroys what has been a strength of our economy a diversified energy portfolio. The result is a far less reliable electricity grid, a risky reliance on one major fuel source for generating base load power, and the certain prospect of higher electricity prices. Lincoln advised us "not to swap horses in midstream." Good advice now as then.

The gamble EPA is taking with affordable and reliable electricity is disturbing enough, but even more so for being entirely unnecessary for environmental improvement. EPA could achieve significant and steady reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without sending price shocks throughout the economy by requiring best in class technology that is available for use today. Gasification and supercritical coal are proven technologies suitable for large-scale use, effective for reducing emissions and available for new plant construction. Compared to older plants they replace, advanced plants with these technologies use at least a third less coal to generate the same amount of electricity and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide. This common sense approach would minimize further loss of coal-generating capacity that has already greatly exceeded the agency's forecasts. In fact, EPA's estimates of plant retirements from its regulations have proven as flawed as its reassurances that its rules will impose little or no costs on consumers.

Because EPA insists on ignoring common sense solutions, we are proposing one of our own. Our bill will base emissions standards for new plants on the best performing technologies actually in use today. For existing plants, Congress will weigh in to ensure that states are accorded the proper role intended for them under the Clean Air Act, and that consumers are not subject to skyrocketing costs. Far from barring EPA from controlling greenhouse gas emissions, by insisting on standards based on proven technologies our approach will actually work.

We will not improve the livelihood of Americans or the health of the environment with emissions standards based on technologies that are unproven with costs that are unaffordable.

It's time we provided workable solutions, not unrealistic aspirations.

SurfKY News
Information provided by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter SAR to Honor Local Vietnam War Veterans on March 29

KENTUCKY (3/26/15) — The Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is making a deliberate… Read More

Sheriff Explains Numerous Duties of Office, Future Plans

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/27/15) — Newly-elected Hopkins County Sheriff Matt Sanderson recently addressed the Madisonville… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 18, 2015 9490

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
March 25, 2015 5083

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4942

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 4870

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 4139

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 24, 2015 4079

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 25, 2015 13960

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

by Trooper Stu Recke
March 09, 2015 13012

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI

Stories Trending Today

March 27, 2015 4139

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 27, 2015 1663

MPD Searching for Man Accused of Nearly Running…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 26, 2015 1575

‘Chasing Rainbow’ Heart Walk Raises Funds for AHA

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 26, 2015 1502

Two Injured after Jumping from Second Floor to…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
March 26, 2015 1360

Baptist Health Honors Staff with Years of Service…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 26, 2015 1276

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 26,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 26, 2015 1200

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by Hopkins Court Clerk
March 27, 2015 1147

Family Loses Possessions, Dog in Sugg Street Fire

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 26, 2015 1101

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 26, 2015 1006

Teams 'Dodge for the Cure' during Relay for Life…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News