MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/7/13) — U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield is hopping mad at the Obama Administration.
“He (President Obama) is without question doing everything possible to stop the use of coal… Why should America be the only country in the world where a few people - unilaterally - without any public debate – without any legislation – decide that in America we’re not going to allow any new plant to be built that will burn coal? Why should we be the only country that is doing that?” Whitfield asked. “President Obama also said that new regulations would be forthcoming later this year for existing coal plants to take effect in 2015. EPA is formulating regulations that there is no commercial technology available that will allow you to burn coal and meet the new emission standards. On Nov. 14, we are going to hold hearings about that regulation and we are going to hold hearings on new legislation that would allow building new coal plants. Existing coal plants still produce 47 percent of all electricity produced in this country.”
Whitfield, speaking to the Madisonville Rotary Club Wednesday, said that the Obama administration is very selective in its enforcement of laws thereby creating a double standard.
The huge windmills used to create wind energy kills tens of thousands of migratory birds and scores of eagles in direct violation of the Migratory Birds Act; yet, they have never been prosecuted. Oil companies and individuals have paid millions in fines and been dealt felony prosecution for killing protected species of birds under the Migratory Birds Acts, Whitfield told the Rotarians.
Now, according to Whitfield, the Department of Interior has developed regulations that actually allow the wind industry to kill the birds.
Whitfield said that stimulus funds – billions of dollars - went to green energy projects that are now bankrupt. Hemlock Corporation Project in Clarksville, Tenn., received federal dollars in a $1.3 billion dollar project, which included a $50 million railroad track. The facility was to hire 1,200 employees but has only 18 employees maintaining the facility.
“They announced in January of this year that they are never going to open that plant,” he said.
Whitfield said that energy winners and losers are being chosen by the Obama Administration – without public debate and without legislation.
“It’s all based on greenhouse emissions,” he said. “But only 3.3 precent of all CO2 emissions come from human activity. I can tell you, emphatically, that this administration has a very clear, determined energy policy. This entire debate about the use of coal in this country is about that 3.3 percent.
“Greenhouse emissions in America are the lowest they have been in 20 years. We do not have to take a backseat to any country in the world in controlling our CO2 emissions; primarily, because the technology that is being used in the coal industry is so effective,” he said.
Whitfield maintains that worldwide CO2 emissions would still be going up without human activity.
“In America, we are the No. 1 natural gas producer in the world. We are the No. 1 oil producer in the world – more than Saudi Arabia and more than Russia; and, all because of discoveries that have been developed on private lands. We are very fortunate to have these resources in America,” Whitfield said. “We have a 250 year reserve of coal and this administration wants to move us away from fossil fuel.”
By 2025, no government building can be heated with fossil fuels, he said.
While many issues are gridlocked, Whitfield pointed out that sometimes there is a consensus.
“We passed the Freedom to Fish Act in four days to overrule the Corps of Engineers,” he said.
The Corps established rules that would have prohibited fishing at 12 dams on the Cumberland River. The Freedom to Fish Act overruled the Corps of Engineers and ensured citizens could fish below the dams.
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