Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will be voting on the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, or H.R. 3826.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act is bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). The Act would create guidelines for the EPA to set standards for new power plants that are actually feasible and will put the final authority for any guidelines affecting existing power plants in the hands of Congress and thus the people.
The issue is that the EPA has proposed regulations that would mandate any new coal-fired power plants to use technologies that are not commercially feasible. The required technologies under the EPA regulations are not yet commercially or economically viable and would basically impose standards that are impossible to meet. These costly regulations could put an end to the promise of a true “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. If the EPA’s rule for new plants is allowed to move forward, American consumers and businesses will be denied "the benefits afforded by coal, which provide nearly 40 percent of the nation with affordable and reliable electricity.”
However the EPA is not stopping at new plants and is also set to propose regulations for existing power plants in June 2014. New regulations imposed on existing power plants could be the most damaging and could lead to higher energy prices, the closing of existing plants and loss of jobs.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act is the solution to help “rein in” the EPA’s proposed flood of costly regulations. By supporting Rep. Whitfield and Sen. Manchins’ bipartisan legislation, Americans can ensure that we “take full advantage of all of our domestic resources and pursue innovative opportunities to expand access to energy, while keeping prices affordable and helping American businesses to compete.”
Expected to pass out of the Energy and Commerce next Tuesday, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist had this to say about the Electricity Security and Affordability Act:
“The Electricity Security and Affordability Act is necessary legislation that repeals the EPA’s misguided greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and guides the EPA towards creating new, achievable standards. If this legislation is not adopted, it is possible that a new coal-fired power plant will never be built in the United States again. Congress never intended for the EPA to unilaterally determine what source of energy Americans consume. The Electricity Security and Affordability Act also reaffirms Congress's legislative duties by enacting numerous safeguards against EPA partisan overreach. In sum, this is essential legislation intended to rebut the Obama Administration’s war on affordable energy. I urge every Member of Congress to support the Electricity Security and Affordability Act.”