Committee Members Stand Up for Jobs and Affordable Energy as Fight Against EPA’s Regulatory Assault Continues

June 4, 2014

House Energy and Commerce Committee members are taking a strong stand against the administration’s latest attack on jobs and affordable energy. Despite the fact that the president’s cap-and-trade legislation failed in Congress, his EPA is pushing through a new rule to overhaul our nation’s energy sector. This regulation on existing power plants will inevitably cause electricity rates to skyrocket for businesses and consumers nationwide and will eliminate thousands of well-paying jobs. The Energy and Power Subcommittee will review EPA’s proposed rule at a hearing later this month. 

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule amounted to a cap-and-trade system, which Congress rejected in 2009. “Four years after a Democratic Senate rejected cap-and-trade, the administration continues its pursuit to regulate where Congress refused to legislate,” Upton said in a Monday statement.The Hill

President Barack Obama is acting unilaterally with his plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent, says Rep. Ed Whitfield, chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. "His administration is acting unilaterally more than any administration in recent memory. … So, what you're seeing today on the existing coal plants, prior to that they've already issued regulations on new plants, which makes it impossible to build a new coal plant in America because the technology is not available," the Kentucky Republican explained Monday. Newsmax

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the regulations were a continuation of "the Obama administration's war on coal.” “This rule is another tax on the American taxpayers and will lead to higher electricity rates and fees," she said in a statement. The Tennessean

… Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, asked, “When will the President care as much for the American worker as he does about his notions of climate change?” Cassidy, referring to the nation’s struggling economy and stubborn unemployment rate, said, “The federal government should focus on creating jobs. Instead, President Obama is proposing regulations that hamstring the economy, raising utility costs for families and destroying tens of thousands of jobs.” The New Orleans Advocate

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said he was particularly dismayed after hearing televised comments made by Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that suggested electricity rates would decrease — and not increase — under the new power plant rules. … “He knows what this is going to do to the middle class American family…  It is going to devastate our area because we are going to lose coal jobs. Everybody is going to feel the pain (with higher electrical rates). They said it was going to reduce demand for electricity. I think they may be right. Because when you shut down the manufacturing facilities, and send them to China, there is less demand. Fewer jobs will mean lower demand.” Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), issued in a press release his opinion that, “with jobs and the economy remaining the top concerns on the minds of Americans, issuing new burdensome regulations that will cost jobs due to billions of dollars in compliance costs is the last thing we need.” – WCLU Radio

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta of Ohio’s Sixth District, which includes portions of Scioto County, says the president and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are killing the coal industry in Ohio. … “Despite the Senate refusing to pass cap-and-trade a few years ago, President Obama is back at it again, circumventing Congress and using the EPA as a bureaucratic arm to enforce his job destroying agenda. Today, the EPA announced a de facto cap-and-trade plan that would have detrimental effects on the coal industry across Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and the United States. Coal remains the country’s largest source of electricity, and the district I represent has six coal-fired power plants,” Johnson said.  Portsmouth Daily Times

Among the critics is U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, who criticized the current presidential administration for unveiling the EPA’s plan. “At a time when our economy is stagnating and families all over are struggling to make ends meet, I cannot understand why President Obama has chosen to issue regulations that will cost thousands of jobs and increase utility costs for millions,” Kinzinger said in a news release sent Tuesday. “America instead needs to pursue an all-of-the-above energy approach that supports a broad spectrum of energy sources and unleashes the ingenuity of the free market.” – Morris Daily Herald

“This regulation is another attack on low-cost, reliable energy that will cost thousands of U.S. jobs, make electricity more expensive and curb economic growth,” said Congressman Bob Latta. “The EPA’s latest billion-dollar regulation on existing power plants is an unprecedented regulatory intrusion with far-reaching consequences for the American people.” – The Delphos Herald

Congressman Billy Long, of Missouri’s 7th Congressional District said President Obama is now, “attacking the country’s largest source of electricity” after failing to get his cap-and-trade proposal through Congress. “Coal is one of America’s most abundant and affordable sources of energy… Right now Americans are suffering from this bad economy. Despite this, the EPA is pressing forward with regulations that will increase the costs of every American’s electric bill.” – KSMU Ozarks Public Radio

Pete Olson (R-TX) said, “The economic costs of this rule will be tremendous - even EPA sets the price tag in the billions, and the Chamber of Commerce recently said that the cost to our economy could exceed $50 billion cost 200,000 jobs. Our economy is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession and this rule will only push our recovery back further through job losses and higher energy costs.” – Pearland Journal

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) said, “We shouldn’t use government regulation to make energy cost more. I’ve seen how increased American energy production is creating jobs right in our community. When the government makes domestic energy more expensive, it is going to cost jobs right here at home. Americans struggling to pay heating and electric bills will be the ones who suffer the most.” – Reading Eagle

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, joined in the Republican attacks. “Once again, this Administration is trying to impose unachievable standards on our nation’s power plants that have no basis in reality,” he said. The rule would cost millions of jobs and $500 billion in lost economic activity. “Is it any wonder that our economy is still struggling and millions of Americans are looking for jobs when President Obama continues to propose radical regulations like this just to appease liberal extremists?” Scalise asked.The New Orleans Advocate

Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman of its Environment and Economy Subcommittee was also not a fan of the EPA’s new regulations. “After failing to win support for a cap-and-trade program in Congress, the Obama Administration is now attempting to implement a similar scheme through EPA rulemaking,” Shimkus said via a release. “Without a doubt, this new front in the War on Coal will raise electricity rates – especially in the Midwest – and cost hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs nationwide.” The Telegraph

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said it appears that the administration wants to force the power industry to move away from coal. That will mean higher costs that will be passed along to customers, he said. … “This is just a guillotine coming down,” he said. Omaha World-Herald