FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/16/13) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, recently joined with leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide further information regarding the President’s climate change agenda for his second term.
Whitfield is particularly concerned with how an aggressive climate change agenda by the President would adversely affect Kentucky’s coal industry.
“Coal is one of America’s most abundant and important domestic energy resources,” stated Whitfield. “I will continue to work to protect our coal miners and protect coal as an essential energy resource. Without coal, consumers will face increased energy costs, making America less competitive in the global marketplace. Roughly 40 percent of our electricity is supplied by coal, and attacking coal as some in Washington tend to do and making it harder for coal-fired power plants to operate will not only hurt our consumers, but will also negatively impact jobs.”
In their letter to EPA Acting Administrator Robert Perciasepe, Whitfield and Committee leaders expressed concern over the impacts of EPA’s recently issued greenhouse gas regulations and the agency’s plans for additional rules that will raise energy prices and impede job creation and economic growth. They also questioned the President’s priorities as the nation confronts a stalled economy and continues struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
They wrote, “As you are aware, unprecedented economic challenges threaten current and future generations of Americans. Our nation faces prolonged high unemployment, anemic economic growth, and a national debt rapidly approaching $17 trillion. The U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in four years, and the President has not yet submitted a fiscal year 2014 budget proposal to Congress. As these pressing fiscal, economic, and employment risks confront American families and businesses, the President announced in his Inaugural and the State of the Union speeches that climate change is one of his top priorities and that he intends to take action in his second term.”
Whitfield and the Committee have a long history of reviewing climate change policies. The letter continues, “Over the past three Congresses, our Committee developed a sizable Congressional record regarding climate change, including dozens of hearings and testimony from hundreds of witnesses. Our consideration of the impacts of climate policies has informed our view that raising the price of energy would hurt households and businesses with no perceptible impacts on global greenhouse gas emissions, weather or climate conditions.
“Notwithstanding the importance of encouraging economic recovery and job growth, EPA has during the President’s first term issued thousands of pages of greenhouse gas regulations that impose additional costs on all sectors of the economy. We are concerned about the impacts of these regulations and also of new additional regulations that EPA intends to issue that will drive up energy prices for Americans, further discouraging economic growth and job creation.”
Whitfield and Committee members have previously written to EPA to seek information relating to the agency’s greenhouse gas regulations.
Information provided by Chris Pack
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