House energy panel leaders slam Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan

February 25, 2015

House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) authored commentary pieces featured in today’s Roll Call decrying the costly consequences of new EPA regulations, particularly the agency’s power plant rules. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is currently testifying before both subcommittees at a joint hearing. Tune in HERE

The President’s Misplaced Energy Priorities

By Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)

Earlier this month, the White House doubled down on President Barack Obama’s pronouncement that climate change is a bigger threat to Americans than terrorism. The comments reveal a startling disconnect and come at a time when we have witnessed an unsettling uptick in terror attacks. These recent statements also underscore just how out of touch the White House is from the daily priorities of Americans. Despite growing strife around the world and a sluggish economic recovery at home, this president’s No. 1 priority continues to be climate change. Moreover, White House officials do not shy away from the desire to make climate the president’s legacy, regardless of the cost and consequences to Americans.

While the president has been delivering expensive climate regulations since 2009, he did not formally unveil his climate action plan until the summer of 2013 in a televised speech. As the touchstone of this plan, the president announced that he had instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s new and existing power plants.

The first blow of this one-two punch to affordable energy came shortly after the president’s climate speech. The EPA announced its proposal for new power plants in September 2013. The proposal is so stringent it would amount to a de facto ban on the construction of any new coal-fired power plants. The rule requires new coal plants to be built using expensive carbon capture and sequestration technologies which have not yet been demonstrated at any full-scale power plant in the United States, and have not been proven to be commercially viable. In sum, even highly-efficient, state-of-the-art coal plants being constructed in Europe, Japan and elsewhere in the world could not be built in America. …

Read Whitfield’s full column online HERE

From Health Care to Energy: Majority of Americans Pay More, Get Less Under Obama

By Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I sit at the intersection of energy and health care policy. From that vantage point, I’ve come to see some of the unfortunate parallels between the Obama administration’s past claims about the Affordable Care Act and the similar claims it now makes about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

What I’ve noticed is that, in both cases, a majority of Americans end up paying more and getting less.

Let’s look first at who pays more. Under Obamacare, the cost of “reform” was passed along, in the form of bigger deductibles and higher copays, to the majority of Americans who had insurance policies they liked and could afford. Likewise, it’s the majority of Americans who now power their homes with affordable and reliable electricity from coal who will pay the price of the EPA’s impossible carbon standards.

In part, that’s because the Clean Power Plan’s carbon emission targets assume the widespread adoption of carbon capture and sequestration technology by existing coal-fired power plants. Even with generous government support, however, CCS remains too costly to be commercially viable. The Department of Energy admitted this fact just last week when it abandoned FutureGen — a public-private partnership designed to demonstrate CCS in central Illinois. Amazingly, years of bipartisan support and the promise of a billion dollars in stimulus money couldn’t make this project in the president’s home state “shovel ready.” …

Read Shimkus’ full column online HERE.