The legislation provides guidance to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its pending greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants.
The bill provides two sets of guidelines: one for new plants and another for existing plants.
Highlights from floor speech:
“In Pennsylvania, over 40 percent of the electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants. And if you go back to the election … the president said very clearly: if you want to continue to produce electricity using coal-fired power plants, you can, but we will bankrupt you. The only thing he didn’t add to that was ‘period.’ That is the war on coal. That is where we’re going.”
“When we talk about the numbers of people in our society right now – not just the middle-income people and the lower-middle-income people but the low-income people – what are we affecting? Everything that they put in their mouths; everything that they put on their backs; everything that they do to heat and light their homes. … The sum total of the cost of anything is everything that goes into it. The cost of energy, and using coal to get there, just makes sense.”
“Coal has done so much for this country and for so many years. I’m not just talking about a few people. And if the chairman on the other side [Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)] does not believe that this is affecting people, please come back to western Pennsylvania. … Walk with me. Go into these little towns, where there no longer is a coal mine open. And not only that — their towns are shut down.
“I would just ask you for one thing: I want you to think about those thousands and millions of people who have forever relied on coal, and the electricity we can supply, and the energy we can supply, at a unit that is low enough that they can continue to live a normal life. That is all we’re asking. This bill is commonsense, which is so devoid in this House.”
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