Tipton, House Colleagues Push for Affordable Electricity for Americans



Watch Tipton Speak on the House Floor HERE<https://youtu.be/QXxXQcxLD7g>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 1, 2015

Contact:

Josh Green

202-617-4395

Tipton, House Colleagues Push for Affordable Electricity for Americans

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two resolutions (S.J. Res. 23 and S.J. Res. 24) disapproving of the Obama Administration’s regulations to stunt the responsible production of affordable and reliable energy. The House is also expected to vote this week on the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8) which seeks to update outdated energy policies to meet America’s energy needs and encourage economic growth.

This week, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) spoke on the House floor in support of responsible coal production, citing its critical importance to providing a source of affordable and reliable electricity for Americans, and underscoring the significant impact it has on Colorado’s economy.

Tipton’s remarks as prepared for delivery follow:

“It is no secret that American coal production and coal-fired electric generation meet with regulatory and legal obstacles at every turn.

“In 2008, the President famously outlined an energy vision in which he stated, “If someone wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” There is no ambiguity in that statement – the Administration is certainly not seeking to encourage coal production. Indeed the opposite.

“The Environmental Protection Agency just finalized its so-called “Clean Power Plan”, a carbon emissions rule that will force states to submit complex plans to meet federally mandated emissions goals. The EPA estimates the annual cost of this rule to be anywhere from $5.5 billion to $8.8 billion annually[1], but other estimates are much higher – ranging from $366 billion to $479 billion from 2017 to 2031[2].

“Now, why is this important? Oftentimes when we’re talking about fees and taxes that will be applied, we assume that someone else gets to pay. The reality is that these costs are shouldered by hardworking Americans who will see their energy bills increase.

They impact the most vulnerable people in our society including senior citizens on fixed incomes and low income families who will have to make tough decisions in their already tight household budgets just to heat their homes.

“In my own district in rural western Colorado, upwards of 500 coal mining jobs in Delta County – with wages and benefits exceeding $66 million – have already been lost, and more are threatened due to anti-coal lawsuits. Another 220 are threatened in Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties for the same reason. There is no shortage of examples such as these in coal-producing states. We need to be clear, as Americans, we want blue skies and clear streams and we have an opportunity to demonstrate that we can create a win-win with the technology that is in place. To see blue skies and a coal-fired power plant, then come to with me to Moffat County to visit Craig, Colorado.

“The Department of the Interior has also laughably announced it will be reviewing whether the public is receiving a fair return on coal production when it is the federal government’s own policies, and the actions of its lawsuit-happy allies, that are actively suppressing the production of coal and its associated revenues.

“Proposing to raise the royalty rate – which cuts in to the profitability of coal production and makes it less attractive to mine – while simultaneously pushing other policies like the Clean Power Plan that make coal less attractive as a power source will mean the death of the industry.

“Let us also not forget that royalties are only a portion of the revenues and benefits generated by responsible coal mining. There are bonus payments received at the time of lease, as companies seek to outbid one another for the development rights (again, higher demand will result in higher bonus payments), and there are annual rentals and other fees.

“State and local governments also accrue revenues through their own assessed taxes and fees on equipment and production, and the high wages of employees are most definitely a boon to local communities.

“All told, coal production contributes some $2.8 billion dollars to Colorado’s economy and provides 64% of its electricity. So while it is true that our energy portfolio is made stronger through diversity, coal can, does and must continue to fill a vital role in that equation.

“Responsible coal production provides a reliable fuel for baseload electrical generation. Its low cost equates to savings for the average American on their monthly energy bill (an especially critical consideration as I mentioned for lower income families, seniors, and others on fixed incomes), and its abundance domestically contributes toward American energy security.

“I look forward to robust debate on the floor this week as we continue to push for policies that will secure all-of-the-above American energy independence. Thank you Mr. Speaker and I yield back the balance of my time.”