Rahall Votes to Knock Down EPA Rule; Ensure that Coal Remains Part of America’s Energy Mix

Mar 6, 2014 Issues: Mining & Energy

WASHINGTON, DC – In a critical vote to block what he described as the “mother of all anti-coal regulatory measures” advanced by the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) voted for the Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826), which would undo a proposed EPA rule that would halt the future construction of coal-fueled power plants.  

“Those of us from the coal-producing regions of this country have become sick and tired of this EPA churning out anti-coal regulations, while showing little or no appreciation for how those regulations will affect the lives and livelihoods of the real people who have to live and work under them,” said Rahall.  “We have been frustrated as the EPA has used slanted science, and inflated claims about the benefits of their regulatory agenda.  We have to question whether this EPA is actually using good, sound science, or if it is picking and choosing science that sounds good to meet whatever ends the agency desires.”

Rahall is an original cosponsor of H.R 3826, legislation that takes aim at EPA’s proposed regulations that would require new coal-fired power plants to install carbon capture and storage technologies that are not yet commercially available anywhere in the world—effectively preventing construction of any new coal-fired generation in the U.S.

H.R. 3826 ensures that any new regulations for existing plants would be subject to Congressional oversight and review.  The bill also instructs EPA to report to Congress on the economic and other impacts of any proposed regulations for existing plants.

“For those of us from coal country, this legislation is fundamental to preserving the jobs of our coal miners and the economies of our communities.  And it would help to set a course for the development of cutting-edge technologies needed to ensure reliable, affordable coal-fired energy for America throughout the foreseeable future,” said Rahall.

“The proposed greenhouse gas rule for new power plants may be the mother of all anti-coal regulatory measures so far promoted by this particular EPA,” Rahall continued.  “It spells curtains for the development of new coal-fired capacity in this country.  And that means decreased energy reliability and increased costs for American families and businesses.”

The House passed the bill today by a vote of 229-183.  Rahall’s floor speech on the bill can be viewed here.