Coal state congressmen want to repeal anti-coal efficiency measure

Four coal-state members of Congress – Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Nick Rahall, D–W.Va., Dave McKinley, R-W.Va., and William Enyart, D-Ill. – said June 13 that they have introduced legislation to repeal Section 433 in the Energy Conservation and Production Act of 2007. 

This provision requires a reduction in “fossil fuel-generated energy,” such as coal and natural gas, in all new and modified federal buildings by the year 2030. The bipartisan measure backed by these members of Congress would allow the government more access to reliable and affordable energy sources and would ensure that cost effective measures are available, they said. 

“President Obama continues to insist that he is supportive of an all-of-the-above energy policy, so I sincerely hope that he agrees with me that resources like coal should not be excluded from the energy sources being considered for the powering of federally-owned buildings,” said Whitfield, a frequent critic of Obama Administration energy policy as it relates to coal. He chairs the Subcommittee on Energy and Power at the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“This is a taxpayer fairness issue as much as anything else,” said Rahall. “These are federal buildings, built and maintained at taxpayer expense, so we should ensure that reliable and low-cost energy options such as coal are available to generate the power to heat and cool them.”

“These anti-coal standards are just another tool by this administration to continue and shut down the entire coal industry, impacting thousands of hard-working families,” said McKinley. “We need to continue common sense types of energy such as coal and natural gas instead of basing knee-jerk decisions on political ideology.”

“At a time when job creation and fiscal discipline remain all-important, it makes sense for the federal government to live up to those principles,” said Enyart. “Coal is a cost effective energy source that puts America back to work.”

Although the U.S. Department of Energy has yet to issue a final rule implementing this requirement, which dates back to 2007, the law would eliminate the future use of domestic energy using coal and natural gas as a fuel source in building new structures and retrofitting existing ones.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.