Whitfield and Manchin Introduce Bipartisan Electricity Security and Affordability Act

January 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) formally introduced the Electricity Security and Affordability Act today in the House and Senate. The lawmakers put forward a draft of the legislation last fall to offer a reasonable alternative to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and the agency’s planned regulations for existing power plants. Whitfield announced his subcommittee will vote on the bipartisan legislation, H.R. 3826, next Tuesday.

H.R. 3826 would require that any greenhouse gas standards set by EPA for new coal-fired plants are able to be achieved by commercial power plants operating in the real world, including highly efficient plants that utilize the most modern, state-of-the-art emissions control technologies. The legislation also provides that Congress would set the effective date for EPA’s expected regulations for existing plants.

“Coal is one of our most abundant and affordable resources, but EPA is acting beyond its legal authority by proposing unworkable regulations that would mean it would be impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in America. These destructive regulations are being pushed through without a public debate about the future of coal in this country, despite the consequences on jobs, energy costs, and economic growth,” said Whitfield. “This bipartisan, bicameral solution will allow coal to continue to supply affordable, reliable electricity necessary to support a growing economy. It will hold EPA accountable by ensuring that greenhouse gas regulations for power plants moving forward are actually achievable and preserve an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.”

“I am thankful to work with Congressman Whitfield and Senator Hoeven on this very important legislation. The Electricity Security and Affordability Act would rein in the EPA’s overreach on greenhouse gas emission standards for coal-fired power plants by ensuring that regulations are based on technology that is proven and commercially available for use,” said Manchin. “It’s time we strike a balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. And that’s what our legislation does. Unfortunately, the EPA has continued to place unreasonable regulations on the energy sector that jeopardize our ability to achieve an energy independent future. It’s time to invest in a diverse energy portfolio that includes coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewables and oil. Abundant, reliable and affordable energy made this country the economic leader of the world, and I look forward to working with all members of Congress to craft a true ‘all-of-the-above’ domestic energy approach.”

The Energy and Power Subcommittee will convene on Monday, January 13, at 4 p.m. for opening statements in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The subcommittee will reconvene on Tuesday, January 14, at 10 a.m. to consider H.R. 3826. A background memo, amendments, and votes will be available on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website HERE as they are posted.

The subcommittee held a legislative hearing on the proposed legislation on November 14, 2013.

To view a copy of H.R. 3826, click HERE.

To view a summary of H.R. 3826 click HERE