Rep. Jenkins: Epa’s actions cost WV jobs


Raise energy prices for families

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) took to the House floor Monday night to urge his colleagues to vote yes this week on two resolutions disapproving of the EPA’s new regulations on new and existing coal-fired power plants.

“This week we will join together with the House to send President Obama and the EPA a strong message – no more attacks on coal. No more attacks on domestic energy. No more attacks on the people who produce energy,” he said.

Rep. Jenkins said the EPA’s regulations will not only cost thousands of coal miners their jobs but raise electricity prices on those who can least afford it.

“Not only will the EPA’s plan destroy jobs, but it will increase utility costs for consumers and lead to higher household electricity bills for all American families. Our seniors, the middle class, and Americans on fixed incomes should not have to bear the burden of increased costs. Our economy is still struggling to recover. People are struggling to survive,” Rep. Jenkins said.

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The full transcript is below.

“Thank you to the gentleman from Ohio, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

“Our natural resources power this nation and our economy. We have abundant, affordable resources that provide low-cost energy and give thousands of people good-paying jobs. In my district, in southern West Virginia, coal is struggling because of this administration’s anti-coal regulations. The people who mine coal and the families who depend on coal’s paychecks are suffering.

“We are at a critical point in the war on coal. I know times are tough. I see it every time I talk to a coal miner or their family. Our nation is at a turning point. We will fight for coal each and every day. But the question is, will we support jobs and domestic energy? Or will we favor an environmental agenda at the expense of our economy and our communities?

“Coal must play a critical role in an all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy. We can use our resources to create jobs here at home, provide safe and affordable energy for businesses and families alike, and reduce our dependence on energy from unfriendly nations.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the EPA and the Office of Surface Mining are dead set on bankrupting coal. They have issued rule after rule that will decimate our industry and the livelihoods of our coal miners.

“The proposed stream buffer zone rule would lead to losses of tens of thousands of direct mining jobs and hundreds of thousands of jobs linked to mining. Likewise, the EPA’s finalized regulations on coal-fired power plants will hurt our economy and drive up electricity rates for our families, seniors and small businesses. It sets unachievable emissions limits for our coal-fired power plants and forces states to adopt different energy policies or else become subject to additional federal regulations and a cap-and-trade program.

“Not only will the EPA’s plan destroy jobs, but it will increase utility costs for consumers and lead to higher household electricity bills for all American families. Our seniors, the middle class, and Americans on fixed incomes should not have to bear the burden of increased costs. Our economy is still struggling to recover. People are struggling to survive.

“Each of us here tonight has led the fight against the EPA’s overregulation and overreach. On the House Appropriations Committee, I helped to secure a provision in the Interior/EPA funding bill that would prohibit funding for the rulemaking on power plants to proceed. I was an early cosponsor of Chairman Whitfield’s resolutions to block implementation of the EPA’s coal-fired power plant rules.

“And this week we will join together with the House to send President Obama and the EPA a strong message – no more attacks on coal. No more attacks on domestic energy. No more attacks on the people who produce energy.

“We will take up resolutions to disapprove of the EPA’s new regulations on new and existing coal-fired power plants. We will also vote on a broad energy bill that will update our policies to allow America to take advantage of all of our domestic energy while strengthening our energy security and independence. Congress is standing up to this administration’s regulatory overreach.

“We must send a message to President Obama and his runaway EPA and end the war on coal. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and, again, thank you to the gentleman from Ohio for his leadership. I yield back.”

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Raise energy prices for families
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