CHARLESTON, W.V. — November 28, 2017 — Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a national advocate for energy consumers, the West Virginia Coal Association, along with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, and Butch Antolini with the office of Governor Jim Justice joined together today to highlight reliability concerns and higher energy costs stemming from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the necessity to move forward on repealing the regulation.
During a press conference held on the North Side of the West Virginia State Capitol, while public hearings on the proposed repeal of the regulation continued, elected officials and trade groups from West Virginia and several surrounding states encouraged the EPA to develop a fuel mix strategy that better supports the safe and responsible development of coal and helps keep energy prices affordable and reliable for consumers and energy-intensive industries – which the 1,550-page Clean Power Plan does not do.
The following individuals provided quotes for today’s press conference highlighting the need to repeal the Clean Power Plan:
- Bill Raney, President, West Virginia Coal Association
- The Honorable Jim Justice, WV Governor
- The Honorable Patrick Morrisey, WV Attorney General
- The Honorable Mitch Carmichael, WV State Senate President
- The Honorable Tim Armstead, Speaker of the WV House of Delegates
- The Honorable John Blanton, Kentucky House of Representatives
- Jerry Mullins, National Mining Association
- Chris Hamilton, WV Business and Industry Council
- Phil Gonet, Illinois Coal Association
- Tyler White, Kentucky Coal Association
- Harry Childress, Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance
“When evaluating the impact of energy policies on consumers, policymakers must first consider how prices affect the most vulnerable amongst us: low- and fixed-income families who struggle because of price increases,” Chris Ventura, CEA’s Midwest Director, said after testifying at the hearing. “Not surprisingly, low-income families across West Virginia and the Midwest spend a larger percentage of their disposable income on electricity, heating costs and transportation fuels than other income brackets.”
“And unlike other necessities like housing, food, and healthcare, energy consumers generally cannot shop around for cheaper resources to lower their bills, nor do federal and state governments have sufficient resources allocated to fully assist with energy bills,” he added. “This is why CEA strongly believes that a balanced electricity mix – focused on rate affordability and power reliability – is ultimately the best course of action for consumers and the environment.”
And it’s not just hard-working, cash-strapped families who stand to lose should the Clean Power Plan move forward; hard-working employees and cash-strapped businesses would too, said Bill Raney, President, West Virginia Coal Association.
“The Clean Power Plan is an unrealistic, impracticable, economy-killing concept that would adversely impact businesses, large and small, across West Virginia and forcibly and adversely reshape the country’s electrical grid,” he said. “This week’s hearings are another step by the Trump administration to follow through on its promises to carefully review environmental policies set by the prior administration that are hurtful to American workers, in West Virginia and nationwide.”
“Shutting down coal-fired power plants would have closed mines and devastated other businesses that rely upon coal’s success, all resulting in significant job losses throughout West Virginia and other states,” said Attorney General Morrisey.
Advocating to keep all energy production strong in West Virginia and across the U.S. should be a must-do for those looking to keep energy costs low, support our economies, and create solutions that benefit our environment as well – which is just about everyone, Kentucky State Representative John Blanton said.
“Thanks to our top-of-the-line stringent environmental safeguards, protection for laborers, and advanced technology, producing energy in Kentucky and the U.S. is second to none,” Blanton said. “We need to make sure that we’re creating policies that work to protect our environment and grow our economy. We have everything on hand to do both without this unnecessary, dangerous regulatory action.”
And many in Virginia agree, Harry Childress, President of the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance, said.
“For years, many of Virginia’s coal communities have seen the Clean Power Plan for exactly what it is: A thinly-veiled assault on their livelihood which stands to cripple their line of work while providing hardly any environmental benefits,” he said. “Fortunately, the Trump administration, by executive order, is axing the regulation along with another remnant of the Obama administration’s anti-coal policy, the moratorium on all new leases of federal coal reserves. And both are efforts everyone who wants a strong economy with low-cost energy should support.”
“For nearly eight years, I have been fighting for Southeast Ohio’s families, small businesses, and manufacturers,” said Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson. “Southeast Ohio relies on companies that produce energy to provide good-paying jobs for our families. Our small businesses and manufacturers depend upon the affordable energy we produce here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. It is time for the Trump Administration to put Ohioans back to work by repealing the Clean Power Plan.”
“Many have called this the Costly Power Plan, and an economic impact study by Energy Ventures Analysis shows this regulation will result in a $214 billion increase in wholesale electricity prices by 2020,” said Phil Gonet, President of the Illinois Coal Association. “This means consumers will face higher utility costs, disproportionately affecting low-income and rural families harming the economic competitiveness of Illinois.”
“Ohio’s businesses cannot continue to be straddled with burdensome and costly regulations that will increase the cost of electricity,” said Zack Frymier of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “In order to remain competitive to continue growing Ohio’s economy and employing more Ohioans, our businesses need a balanced energy policy.”
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s energy future. With more than 450,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the country. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all of us to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop our diverse energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.