FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/21/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today held a joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade to explore how new technologies and innovation are unlocking domestic energy resources and helping to revive American manufacturing and bring high-paying jobs back to America. During the hearing, Whitfield stressed the importance of coal in keeping electricity affordable.
“The Obama administration says they support an all-of-the-above energy policy, but they are systematically trying to eliminate some fossil fuels, particularly coal,” stated Whitfield during the hearing. “I was reading the Federal Register footnotes on the proposed greenhouse gas new source performance standards for new electric generating units. In the Register, it says the Department of Energy Technology Laboratory estimates that when the rule becomes final, the technology that the coal industry would have to use to meet the emissions standards would add 80 percent to the cost of electricity. As we move forward, we have to think about the policies and the impact because I for one do believe we need all of the above approach to energy. Green energy alone is not going to get it done.”
In addition to an estimated 80 percent rate increase, Whitfield says that the technology needed to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new source performance standards, is not yet commercially available. In November, 2011, the former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, when talking about the proposed carbon rule on utilities, admitted that, “It can be years, maybe a decade or more, until we have the technology available at commercial scale.”
Whitfield has long contended that EPA is trying to regulate the coal industry out of existence. He recently wrote an editorial with Kentucky Representative Jim Gooch stressing (D – Providence) expressing concern over what would happen to the cost of electricity if coal if President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency are successful in fully implementing their energy polices.
According to a recent report from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Kentuckians get 92 percent of their electricity from coal-fired power plants. Over 14,000 Kentuckians are employed by the Kentucky Coal Industry.
Information provided by Chris Pack
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