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Representative Ed Whitfield

Representing the 1st District of Kentucky

Bi-Partisan Majority of House of Representatives ask OMB to block Costly EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Feb 23, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (R-KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, and U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-GA-12), Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, along with 219 colleagues in the House, sent a letter to President Obama’s acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting him to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rulemaking. 

These costly new standards would dramatically increase electricity rates in the United States, stop new coal plants from being built, and phase out or potentially eliminate existing coal-fired electricity, which currently accounts for nearly half of our nation’s electricity supply. 

“Affordable, reliable electricity is critical to keeping and growing jobs in the United States and such a standard will likely drive up energy prices and threaten domestic jobs,” Representatives Whitfield and Barrow said.  “Forcing a transition to commercially unproven technologies could send thousands of U.S. jobs overseas and raise electricity rates on families and seniors at a time when the nation can least afford it.”

EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases could increase the cost of everything from gasoline to household utilities to groceries. During a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Feb. 9, 2011, Dr. Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at American Council for Capital Formation, testified that the first wave of EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations could result in as many as 1.4 million job losses. 

Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the EPA from implementing these regulations. The Senate has failed to act on this important legislation that would permanently remove the threat of these regulations. The legislation passed in the House will:  

  • Prohibit EPA from targeting greenhouse gases as related to climate change under the Clean Air Act. EPA would not be permitted to unilaterally regulate greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide emissions from using fossil fuels – the coal, oil, and natural gas that provides America with 85 percent of its energy.
  • Prevent the American economy from being placed at a competitive disadvantage. U.S. energy prices, including electricity prices, and production costs will rise across numerous industries as a result of EPA’s permitting requirements (by forcing the switch to more expensive fuels and/or changes in technologies and production processes). As a consequence, business investments will move overseas to developing countries whose industries produce more GHGs than the U.S.

 

Full text of the letter is available below.