Rep. Kelly Introduces Coal Country Protection Act in House

Bill halts Obama administration’s radical new EPA rule on power plants, saving thousands of American jobs

Senate version introduced by Minority Leader McConnell

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. 4808, 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 new rule recently announced by the Obama administration. H.R. 4808 is the House version of legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate last week by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The Obama administration’s war on coal is a war on American jobs and livelihoods — it is time to fight back. The Coal Country Protection Act will defend hardworking Americans from the EPA’s extreme overreach by stopping unfair, job-killing regulations in their tracks. The ideological ambitions of a few in Washington must never be allowed to force economic pain on families across our country.

“The sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy source that coal-fired power plants provide is critical to our national security and the global supply of energy so badly needed by the world market. In Western Pennsylvania and elsewhere, coal lights our homes, keeps electric bills low, and puts food on the table for countless households. More than 40,000 jobs are tied to coal in our state alone. They must be protected.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be working with Senator McConnell to enact this urgent, commonsense legislation. We both want a clean planet, but believe schemes like the EPA’s harsh new energy tax to be unfair, unworkable, and intolerable. No American’s job or way of life should ever be a casualty of out-of-touch Washington excess.”

NOTE: H.R. 4808 halts any new regulation or guidance by the EPA that limits 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.

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.