Joins 22 other Members in sending letter to President opposing the imposition of “an energy tax by regulatory fiat”
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson recently joined colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama expressing concern at his intention to circumvent the will of Congress by issuing new rules for greenhouse gas provisions.
The letter, which was signed by 23 Members of Congress, expresses concern about the negative impact that the President’s proposal would have on energy costs, national security, and economic recovery. It points to significant job losses in coal states—a nearly 30% decline in coal jobs in Kentucky alone between 2011 and 2012. “Sadly, Appalachia is not alone,” the letter reads. “Fully one-fifth of the nation’s coal plants—204 plants across 25 states—closed between 2009 and 2012. Seven EPA regulations proposed over the last four years will cost $16.7 billion annually once fully implemented…The rate hikes attendant with the loss of 69,000 megawatts of coal-fired power are forecasted to cost 887,000 mining, utility, shipping, and downstream manufacturing jobs across the country per year. The manufacturing sector, which was making a comeback due largely to affordable energy, will again be put at a cost disadvantage compared to foreign competitors.”
Recognizing the reality that the United States is and will continue to be dependent on coal for many years, Simpson and his colleagues point out in the letter that the proposed regulations threaten our nation’s ability to achieve energy independence: “The United States has 250 years worth of domestic coal reserves at current consumption rates. These resources, combined with oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables, could finally make the United States energy secure—a goal of every presidential Administration since Richard Nixon.”
Simpson chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Simpson’s recently-introduced appropriations bill for FY14 includes a provision preventing the new rules from going into effect.