U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today delivered opening remarks during a Subcommittee hearing on "American Energy Security and Innovation: The Role of Regulators and Grid Operators in Meeting Natural Gas and Electric Coordination Challenges." In his opening remarks, Whitfield stressed the importance of utilizing natural gas as an additional component of an "all-of-the-above" domestic energy portfolio that continues to focus on coal.
"I intend to work with others to ensure that natural gas serves as a complement to coal and not as a replacement to it," stated Whitfield. "Coal has a number of advantages that have not been fully appreciated by this administration. Coal remains one of the lowest cost options for electricity generation and is the fastest growing energy source worldwide, yet we have allowed EPA to engage in regulations on coal-fired power plants without thinking through all of the consequences. I hope that maintaining a future role for coal, including new, advanced coal-fired power plants, is also a part of today's discussion."
The hearing examined the role of federal and state regulators and electric grid operators in meeting the challenges resulting from the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity and the convergence of the natural gas and electric industries.
The following issues were examined at the hearing:
Challenges arising from increased interdependence of the natural gas and electricity sectors;
Potential impacts on reliability and electricity prices resulting from the operational differences between the natural gas and electricity sectors;
The role of Federal and State regulators in ensuring greater coordination between the natural gas and electric industries to ensure reliable and affordable energy; and
The role of electric grid operators in meeting reliability challenges arising from natural gas-electric convergence.