01/15/14 Congresswoman Jackie Walorski announced her support for the Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826), a bipartisan bill she co-sponsored to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set achievable standards for coal-fired power plants and support energy independence.
“In the heart of winter, Hoosiers remain concerned with costly utility bills,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “The proposed EPA regulations are bound to increase energy costs and stifle economic growth, making it harder to run our households and businesses. This bill provides a commonsense alternative that would allow us to be good stewards of the environment, support job creation, and ensure power plants can safely achieve their full potential.”
The Energy Security and Affordability Act was introduced in response to sweeping EPA regulations that could effectively prohibit the creation of new coal-fired power plants by setting impractical carbon capture and storage standards for greenhouse gas emissions H.R. 3826 offers a reasonable alternative to the EPA’s overreaching regulations, requiring that any greenhouse gas standards set by the EPA for new coal-fired plants can also be achieved by existing commercial power plants. The bill prohibits the EPA from enacting any rules for existing power plants unless Congress passes an enactment date into law.
In the Hoosier state, coal currently provides more than 80 percent of electricity for utilities, businesses, and manufacturing. Purdue University released a report in December stating that Indiana energy prices are expected to rise 32 percent by 2023 due in part to proposed EPA regulations. This increase could have a devastating impact on economic growth and job creation, particularly for highly energy-intensive industries like manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Elkhart County was recently ranked first in the nation in job growth due in part to the addition of over 5,000 new manufacturing jobs.
Walorski has co-sponsored numerous bills to lower energy prices and increase job creation in pursuit of safe, affordable energy independence—including the GAS Act and approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Congresswoman Walorski also plans to send a bipartisan letter to the EPA requesting a comment period extension for the EPA’s proposed rule on new power plants to allow all stakeholders adequate time to share their views and concerns.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act continues to be marked up today in the Energy and Power Subcommittee. Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) formally introduced this bipartisan, bicameral legislation last Thursday.