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Public Statements

Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, we haven't declared war on wind or solar or anything else. We simply don't believe that when you have a $16 trillion Federal debt that the Federal Government should use taxpayers' money to serve as venture capital for risky ventures like Solyndra that received $538 million and now is bankrupt. If this technology is so good, let the free market develop it. It does not need taxpayer support.

Yet, on the other hand, this administration has adopted policies that you can't even build a new coal-powered plant in America because there's no technology available to meet the new emissions standards of the Obama EPA.

On this particular amendment, on page 7 of the amendment, it says that by the year 2035 that 50 percent of the electricity would have to be produced from renewables. The gentleman in his comments said 25 percent, but this amendment says 50.

Mr. MARKEY. Will the gentleman yield? That is not accurate.

Mr. WHITFIELD. Well, I'm just reading from page 7.

Anyway, this amendment simply creates a national renewable electricity standard. We've seen it before. It was in the Markey-Waxman cap-and-trade bill in the last Congress, which was rejected by the Congress.

This amendment does nothing more than determine for the American people where their electricity will come from and that they are going to be paying more for it.

So I urge people to vote against the Markey amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. WHITFIELD. We have great respect for our friends on the other side of the aisle. I think we all recognize that we do have basic differences in our philosophy about the way energy is produced in America. It's quite clear that many people on the other side of the aisle are very much opposed to coal. Not only do they not want us to burn coal in America; they don't want us to export coal to other countries even though it would help our trade deficit and would preserve jobs in the coal industry.

This particular amendment on fugitive dust is really unnecessary because fugitive dust from the transport of coal is already regulated at the Federal and State level under the Clean Air Act, as well as State fugitive dust laws and regulations. EPA already is required to study the environmental and health impacts from particulate matter from all sources, including fugitive sources, and of all compositions, including coal dust. The most recent summary of that science was published by EPA in 2009 and supplemented in 2010. In fact, this week the Army Corps of Engineers also announced that it will conduct an environmental assessment of the proposed coal terminal in the sponsor's district.

So I would say that we already have adequate protection. There's no need for this amendment, although I'm sure it's offered with the very best of intentions.

So I would urge our Members to oppose this amendment and would yield back the balance of my time.

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