Earlier this week, H.R. 3826, the “Electricity Security and Affordability Act,” which I co-authored with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), advanced through the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, by a vote of 18 to 11. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation provides a reasonable alternative to EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants and the agency’s planned regulations for existing power plants. It now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.
Under EPA’s proposal, industry would not even be able to build the most state-of-the-art clean coal-fired power plant, because the technology required under the proposed regulation is not commercially feasible. This legislation allows us to bring these proposed regulations to the forefront and have a public debate about the effect they will have on jobs, energy costs, and economic growth.
Ultimately, I believe the consequences of these regulations will directly affect consumers, whether a family or a business, in the form of higher electricity costs. Americans deserve energy that is affordable and reliable. We need to keep a diverse energy portfolio, one that is truly all-of-the-above.
EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants would require the use of carbon capture and storage technologies that are not yet commercially available, effectively banning the construction of even the most state-of-the-art coal-fired plants. H.R. 3826 would protect an all-of-the-above energy strategy by directing EPA to adopt workable standards that require technologies that have been adequately demonstrated and are commercially feasible. It would also instruct Congress to set the effective date for EPA’s expected regulations for existing plants.
What would be the national and global economic impacts of eliminating coal, which accounts for nearly 40% of our country’s baseload, from our energy portfolio? What are your views on H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act?