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Whitfield: America Does Not Have to Take a Back Seat to Anyone


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, recently took to the floor of the House of Representatives to criticize President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their opposition to the use of coal in their domestic energy production portfolio.

"The President's EPA proposed a rule relating to greenhouse gas emissions, and when they finalize that rule, it will be impossible to build a new coal powered plant in America because the technology is not available to meet the emissions standards required by EPA," stated Whitfield. "We would be the only country in the world in which you would not be able to build a coal powered plant to produce electricity. We know that in China they are building more and more every day, every week, and every month, the same thing in India. Even in Germany where they closed down their nuclear power plants, they're building more coal powered plants. Now, what does that mean to America if we cannot build a new coal powered plant?"

Unlike legislation that requires approval in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Obama Administration is able to impose these new regulations through the EPA without any sort of public debate or public input. Whitfield was especially critical of this tactic.

"The sad thing about it is that this is being done by regulators without any public debate. It's hard to believe that a regulation administered by EPA will prohibit the building of any coal powered plant in America once it's finalized from that day forward, unless the technology is dramatically improved. And yet there is no public debate about it. This is a decision that should be made on the floor of the House of Representatives and on the floor of the United States Senate, not by a group of regulators who determine that they want to put coal out of business."

Whitfield also questioned the President implementing regulations that would essentially regulate coal out of existence in the name of climate change. On April 13, 2012, the EPA published proposed rules to establish standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants called New Source Performance Standards, which would make it virtually impossible for coal-fired power plants to meet these new requirements.

"America does not have to take a back seat to anyone on a clean environment. In fact, our CO2 emissions in America today are lower than they have been in twenty years," concluded Whitfield.

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