Energy and Power Subcommittee Outlines Key Legislative Priorities

February 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) recently outlined a 2012 agenda for his subcommittee that includes protecting jobs and the economy, increasing access to affordable American energy, and conducting oversight of the Obama administration.

Protecting American Jobs and the Economy
Whitfield said the subcommittee will continue to fight against the slew of anti-energy, job-destroying regulations coming out of the Obama administration. Last year the subcommittee passed numerous bills addressing regulations that hamper job creation and economic growth. While Democrats in the Senate have blocked action on these jobs bills, the subcommittee's legislative efforts successfully forced the administration to pull back on several of its proposed regulations. Whitfield said the subcommittee will continue its oversight of EPA's aggressive regulatory agenda including the recently issued Utility MACT rule, which is estimated to be the most expensive regulation ever to be imposed on our nation's power sector.

"The committee still expects to continue pushing legislation to address individual EPA air pollution rules, Whitfield said. One likely target is the recently issued mercury and air toxics standards for power plants, which has elicited GOP concerns about compliance costs and their impact on grid reliability." -CQ

"EPA's new mercury and air toxic standards for power plants will be a disaster for the coal industry and harm America's ability to compete in a global energy marketplace, Rep. Ed Whitfield said today. "˜They're not setting environmental policy - they're setting energy policy for America,' Whitfield said of the agency -Politico's Morning Energy

Increasing Access to Affordable American Energy
Whitfield said the subcommittee will continue to put forth solutions to make it easier to access and develop America's valuable energy resources. While the president says he wants to expand domestic energy production, there are currently spools of red tape are preventing it. The subcommittee will continue to promote the development and use of all forms of American energy including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower.

"A strong economy demands access to abundant and affordable energy. To get the American economy back on track and Americans back to work, we need to remove the harsh regulatory burdens that are fueling uncertainty and preventing growth, while also protecting the health of Americans. We can accomplish both." - Whitfield Op-ed published in The Hill

""˜I welcome the president's proposal for an all-of-the-above strategy including use of natural gas and coal; however, I fear he may just be paying lip service to potential voters,' Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., stated." - National Journal

Conducting Oversight and Eliminating Government Waste
Whitfield said the subcommittee will continue its oversight of President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. Whitfield is particularly concerned about EPA's tendency to settle lawsuits from environmental groups who are seeking to force stricter regulations. This practice, known as "sue and settle," compromises government transparency and abuses taxpayer funds and resources. Whitfield noted the subcommittee is slated to review EPA's 2013 budget at an upcoming hearing, where members will examine EPA grants.

"Whitfield said he hopes to take a deeper look at EPA grants and how they are awarded during hearings on the agency's fiscal year 2013 budget which President Obama is slated to unveil as part of his overall federal budget proposal Feb. 13. "˜We don't have any idea of how much money is going out to these grants,' Whitfield said, adding that too many have been awarded to the same environmental groups "˜that have filed lawsuits' to strengthen or defend environmental rules." -Bloomberg BNA

"House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said his panel will likely scrutinize EPA grants. "˜Seldom do we really look at these grant programs,' Whitfield said late last week at a briefing. "˜When I go to my district people still primarily talk about the debt we have. We don't have any idea how much money is going out to these grants, no idea where these grants are going.'" -National Journal's Government Executive