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OPINION: Energy and Commerce Members Stand up for Jobs and Affordable Energy in Coal Country


Energy and Commerce Committee members representing districts in the heart of coal country this week decried the president’s latest attack on jobs and affordable energy. During his climate speech on Tuesday, the president promised to circumvent Congress and move forward with expensive new regulations on new and existing power plants – a plan that is certain to drive up electricity prices for consumers and businesses and eliminate thousands of American jobs.

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., says Obama’s plan constitutes a war on Southwest Virginia. “What it means for our region is the destruction of our economy,” Griffith said. “And what really bothers me is there is a better way. We have had a number of breakthroughs in clean coal technology. But that has not been the administration’s focus. It ought to be the administration’s focus.”Bluefield Daily Telegraph

The Obama administration has denied waging a war on coal, but since he was first elected in 2008 Obama “has waged an unrelenting war against coal,” said Rep. David B. McKinley, R-Wheeling. “Emblematic of the president’s aversion to coal, one of his energy advisers was quoted today saying ‘a war on coal is exactly what’s needed,'” he said. “But tell that to the thousands of miners who will no longer be able to provide for their families, or the senior on a fixed income whose electric bill will go up.”Weirton Daily Times

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, also said Obama “recklessly escalated his War on Coal.” The president’s plan will cost jobs, drive up costs and make America more dependent on foreign sources of fuel, he said.Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, called Mr. Obama’s plan a step backward for the economy. “The president’s plan will raise electricity prices for consumers and destroy southwestern Pennsylvania jobs supported by coal such as miners, boilermakers, laborers, electricians, operating engineers, steamfitters, plumbers, carpenters and more,” Mr. Murphy said in a news release. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A statement from U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, indicated the plan was a jobs killer.”Regulations already being touted by EPA will cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The president proposed even more restrictions that will hurt Southern Illinois by closing mines and causing electricity rates to rise,” Shimkus said. “There is no way this is helpful to the economy of our nation.” – The Southern Illinoisan 


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