U.S. Rep. Whitfield Talks Future of Coal Industry with Miners

Published 08/31 2014 09:56PM

Updated 08/31 2014 10:15PM

U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield, R-Ky, addresses United Mine Workers. Some sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation as to what EPA regulations will mean for their industry.

"The EPA is really being devastating to the coal industry," said Representative Whitfield.

Whitfield says the EPA has already placed such severe carbon emission restrictions on the coal industry, building a new coal power plant would be nearly impossible.

"Because of the Obama administration you cannot build a new coal power plant because the technology is simply not available to meet the emission standards," said Representative Whitfield.

Whitfield says this could come back to bite the country if other forms of producing energy turn out to be unreliable or too expensive.

"Ultimately the electricity rates are going to go skyrocketing," Representative Whitfield.

As Chairman of the House Subcommittee of Energy and Power Whitfield says he has tried to pass legislation to change EPA regulations, but the Senate is not cooperating.

"We've passed 76 bills that try to reverse, modify, make more palatable some of the extreme positions that he's taking on energy, but Senator Harry Reid will not take any of them up," Representative Whitfield.

Whitfield says EPA regulations take the authority away from states and puts it in the hands of the federal government.

"Basically it's EPA taking over the electricity production business in America and they will have certainly more influence than public utility commissions," Representative Whitfield.

Whitfield says he expects strict regulations on existing power plants to be introduced next summer.

Whitfield says with bills stalling in the Senate he will continue to rally support from constituents to try to change EPA regulations on the coal industry.

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