U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, released the following statement on today's jobs report.
"Today's report on the August jobs numbers is dismal, and another example of how President Obama's economic policies have failed. Even though we saw a minor decrease in the unemployment rate (down from 8.3% to 8.1%), this nation cannot get the 23 million Americans who are either unemployed or underemployed back to work at this pace. Under President Obama, unemployment has remained at or over 8% for 43 consecutive months. This is unacceptable and certainly in contrast to the President's promises that his $831 billion stimulus package would dramatically lower the unemployment rate. Instead, while President Obama has failed to get Americans back to work, he has added $6 trillion to our Nation's debt, putting our overall financial health in jeopardy.
"It is not just President Obama's economic policies that are failing, his over-regulation and anti-growth policies are having a negative impact on our already struggling economy.
"It is troubling to me that President Obama continues to put our economy at risk at a time when it is most vulnerable by issuing regulations that cause companies to close coal-fired power plants, which will ultimately raise electricity prices on consumers. At a time of high unemployment rates, especially in some counties in Kentucky where unemployment remains at more than 10 percent, the Obama Administration and his EPA should be working with coal states to create and retain jobs, not stop economic growth and directly be responsible for miners losing their jobs.
"The EPA's outright assault on coal is already having a destructive effect on Kentucky's economy, and we will likely see more coal plants be taken offline and no new plants being brought online due to EPA's outrageous expansion of regulations and lawsuits filed by environmental groups with the support of the Obama Administration.
"But it's not just the Kentucky economy that is taking a hit from EPA's new regulations. Of the approximately 500 coal-burning power plants, more than 100 (over 20%) are expected to close in the coming years. That is real jobs being lost, and real dollars being taken out of our economy."
"The President and his Administration also have the opportunity to create 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs by moving forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline. I'm not sure why the President refuses to do the right thing for American workers.
"It's time for the President to stand up for American workers and take action to create and retain jobs. It's time to rein in the over-regulation being imposed by the EPA, and it's time to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Additionally, House Republicans have passed 30 bipartisan jobs bills over the past 18 months and President Obama must urge Sen. Reid to allow the Senate to pass these bills that will create jobs and boost our economy."