Energy and Commerce Members Respond to EPA's Proposal to Shut Down Affordable Electricity and Destroy Jobs

March 30, 2012

Republican members pushed back strongly this week against EPA's new proposed rule regulating greenhouse gases for new coal plants. In a hearing Wednesday with EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy, Republican members of Subcommittee on Energy and Power blasted the administration's actions to shut down coal-fired power generation in the U.S., arguing that it is yet another example that the president's promise of an 'all of the above' energy strategy rings hollow, putting both jobs and affordable, reliable energy at risk.

Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee Ed Whitfield (R-KY) criticized the administration for its failure to consider Congress' concerns during the rulemaking process. He reiterated his longstanding concern that the administration has not been forthcoming with the costs and consequences of its regulations. Watch here.

Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) questioned McCarthy about the unachievable compliance costs of the new greenhouse gas standards. He asserted that EPA's regulatory agenda aims to shut down existing coal plans while also preventing any future generation of coal-fired electricity. "You're not admitting the burden that is taking down coal-fired power plants today," said Shimkus. "So you're already taking the ones out today, through current regulation, and you're going to take out the next generation of coal through greenhouse gas [regulation]." Watch here.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) questioned McCarthy over EPA's cost justification of regulation, which assumes new coal plants won't be constructed. Pompeo defended coal as a competitive and affordable source of American energy that provides low-cost electricity to American businesses and consumers. "To sit here today and tell me this isn't going to increase costs for consumers and costs for our businesses and jobs in America -I just think it's Alice in Wonderland," said Pompeo. Watch here.

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) expressed great concern over the cumulative impact of EPA's suite of power sector regulations on jobs and energy prices. Griffith also pointed to the president's previous campaign promise to drive up electricity rates and suggested the president's current "all of the above" plan was misleading -"All of the above, but doesn't include coal," said Griffith. Watch here.