The House of Representatives will vote next week on a legislative package designed to fight President Obama's war on coal. Introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), the Stop the War on Coal Act, H.R. 3409, is comprised of a series of bills that aim to stop EPA's regulatory assault on America's power sector, which threatens to destroy countless jobs and drive up the price of energy for American families and businesses. Included in the package are three proposals advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee: the Energy Tax Prevention Act, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, which have all separately passed the House with bipartisan support.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who has been a leading advocate in the fight against President Obama's war on coal, lent his support to the legislative package, stating, "Affordable energy is critical for our nation's economic future. As a former manufacturing leader, I can attest to the importance of low-cost, reliable electricity to keeping and creating jobs here in America. President Obama's War on Coal means fewer jobs and higher energy costs for Americans. Coal is a critical component to our nation's energy future, and I am proud to support this legislation that will help preserve this vital energy source for future generations."
Title II of the bill, The Energy Tax Prevention Act, was authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) to stop President Obama's EPA from using the Clean Air Act to impose costly greenhouse gas regulations that would burden broad sectors of the economy. This legislation stops EPA's cap-and-tax agenda, which threatens to drive up energy prices, send jobs overseas, and hamstring our economic recovery.
"Despite President Obama's calls for an "all-of-the-above' energy plan, he continues to ignore one of our country's most abundant and affordable sources of energy, coal. We are already witnessing the destructive consequences of these cap-and-tax energy regulations as coal plants across the country have announced plant closures and layoffs," said Upton. "The only way to prevent even more victims from this war on coal is for Congress to step up and pass legislation to stop EPA from abusing the Clean Air Act."
Title III of the bill, known as the TRAIN Act, was authored by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) to provide for an honest accounting of the full cost of EPA's rules. This legislation requires an interagency committee to analyze the cumulative economic impacts of EPA's power sector rules and other regulations in an effort to better understand how these policies affect jobs, energy prices, and electric reliability. The legislation would also delay EPA action on two of the agency's most costly and burdensome regulations, the Utility MACT rule and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, until after the TRAIN Act analysis is complete and provides additional direction.
"The American people deserve an honest accounting of the impact EPA regulations have on our overall economy -- its astonishing this isn't being done already. My language will force EPA to do a cost benefit analysis on the cumulative impact these regulations have on global competitiveness, energy and fuel prices, jobs and the reliability of our electricity supply. This is just common sense, good government for American workers and businesses," said Sullivan.
Title IV of the bill was modeled after the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, authored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) to provide for the safe management and disposal of coal ash in a way that preserves jobs and encourages recycling. The legislation, which enjoys bipartisan and bicameral support, provides a practical alternative to EPA's misguided plan to regulate coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle C, which governs hazardous waste. EPA's plan would increase costs for coal-fired power plants, drive up energy prices, and is estimated to cost over 300,000 jobs.
"In response to the threats to our economy posed by the Obama administration's proposed regulation, I have been fighting to protect the ability to recycle coal ash for over a year now. Most recently, I offered an amendment that would provide rigid federal standards for the disposal of coal ash as part of the Surface Transportation Extension Act that passed the House," said McKinley. "I have continued my fight on this issue, because it is about protecting both jobs and health, while maximizing government construction dollars."
"The EPA's outright assault on coal is having a destructive effect on our economy, and we will likely see more and more coal-fired power plants closed and more mining operations shut down due to EPA's outrageous expansion of regulations," said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). "At a time of high unemployment rates, President Obama and his EPA should be working with coal states to create and retain jobs, rather than thwarting economic growth and causing miners to lose their jobs. Implementing this legislation will preserve jobs, and help our struggling economy."