Renacci Floor Speech: The Electricity Security and Affordability Act
March 6, 2014
Floor Speech Text:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act.
"The United States is fortunate to have more coal than any country in the world. This vital resource is currently used to meet nearly half of our electricity needs and supports over 550,000 jobs.
"As a representative from Ohio, a state that produces more than 24 million tons of coal per year and uses it to generate over 50 percent of our electricity, I understand first-hand the importance of keeping this abundant and affordable natural resource a part of America's energy supply.
"Unfortunately, over the past five years the Administration's policies have led to the closure of hundreds of coal-fired plants across the country.
"In fact, in just one year, Ohio's coal-generated electricity dropped nearly 20 percent as a result of the current regulatory environment.
"The EPA's recently proposed greenhouse gas standards for new coal-fired plants are only the latest example of the Administration's regulatory assault on America's power sector.
"Not only do these standards rely on a technology that is not even commercially viable at this point, they will also lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and drive up the price of energy for American families and businesses that are already struggling to make ends meet.
"Ohio alone stands to lose an estimated 18,000 manufacturing jobs by 2023 as a result of these overreaching regulations. More than 1,000 of these jobs will be in my district. These estimates do not even include job loss by coal miners, utility workers, and all those impacted directly by plant closures.
"Rising energy costs are one of the main problems facing the many hardworking Americans. While we are all impacted by these rules, it is our most vulnerable citizens who unfortunately will be hit the hardest.
"It is the 387,000 Ohioans who make less than $10,000 and spend almost 30 percent of their income on energy costs that these standards will hurt the most. These standards are not just an attack on coal, they are on attack on those individuals, who are having to choose between paying their electric bills and providing the basic necessities for their family.
"The bill before us today offers a realistic alternative to the EPA's misguided and unachievable approach to regulating new and existing power plants. I applaud Representative Whitfield's efforts on this critical piece of legislation and I urge my colleagues to support its passage.
"Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time."