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.

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 11683

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 7306

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5738

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 20, 2015 4837

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 22, 2015 3976

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 22,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 11683

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8783

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 24, 2015 3833

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 790

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by Karen McKnight
April 24, 2015 781

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
April 23, 2015 774

Regional Eighth Grade Math Contest Held

by Joyce Riggs
April 24, 2015 725

Probation and Parole Violators - April 24, 2015

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 665

Career Fair Provides Students Information about…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 649

Baptist Health Holds ‘Walk in the Park’ as Part…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 640

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
April 25, 2015 635

Above and Beyond: Wade Simons

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
April 24, 2015 628

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News