Rep. Kelly Re-Introduces Coal Country Protection Act

Jun 8, 2015 Issues: Energy

Legislation aimed to save thousands of American jobs
by stopping EPA’s radical “Clean Power Plan”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today announcing the introduction of H.R. 2637, the Coal Country Protection Act. The legislation requires that specific criteria be met before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can impose any new regulations on the nation’s power plants, including the controversial “Clean Power Plan” announced by the Obama administration last year and submitted for final review last week. Rep. Kelly previously introduced the House version of this bill last June in the 113th Congress with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who sponsored the corresponding Senate version.

“The EPA’s Clean Power Plan directly targets our nation's coal-fired power plants and represents the fiercest blow to date in the Obama administration's war on coal which, as many know, is actually a one-way war on American jobs and livelihoods. We must fight back.

“In Pennsylvania alone, coal is responsible for 40,000 jobs and 40 percent of our electric power. The Associated Press rightly calls it ‘the workhorse of the US power system.’ The decision to move forward with this plan cruelly disregards the needs of workers, families, and seniors – in Western Pennsylvania and across America – who rely on coal's benefits and will feel very real pain if these regulations go through.

“For these reasons, I have proudly re-introduced the Coal Country Protection Act, a commonsense bill that will stop any new EPA regulations from affecting America's power plants until four specific outcomes are guaranteed: no job losses, no drop in GDP, no higher electricity rates, and no interruption in energy delivery. This legislation will defend hardworking Americans from the EPA's extreme overreach by stopping unfair, job-killing regulations in their tracks.

“As we've witnessed over the past six years, the Obama administration will implement its radical environmental agenda at any cost. This crucial fight is about protecting not just coal country but our whole country.”

NOTE: H.R. 2346 halts any new regulation or guidance by the EPA to limit carbon emissions from new or existing power plants until the following criteria are met:

  • The Secretary of Labor certifies to the EPA Administrator that the regulation will not generate loss of employment;
  • The Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) certifies to the EPA Administrator that the regulation will not result in any loss in U.S. gross domestic product;
  • The Administrator of the Energy Information Administration certifies to the EPA Administrator that the regulation will not increase electricity rates;
  • The Chairperson of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the President of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. certify to the Administrator that electricity delivery will remain reliable.

BACKGROUND: On August 4, 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a guest op-ed written by Rep. Kelly on the economic danger of the EPA's anti-coal regulations proposed under President Obama titled, “Pushing Back Against Obama's War on Coal.”

On July 29, 2014, Rep. Kelly formally invited President Obama to visit a coal mine in Western Pennsylvania. The visit would be personally arranged by Rep. Kelly and is designed to give the president an opportunity to meet the workers whose jobs are most directly threatened by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The invitation, since re-iterated, has thus far been declined by the White House.

Rep. Kelly is a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus. On October 29, 2013, he delivered a memorable address at the National Mining Association’s “Rally for American Energy Jobs” on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol which can be viewed here.