(House of Representatives - April 17, 2013)

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[Pages H2107-H2114]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1730
                              WAR ON COAL

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Barr) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

                             General Leave

  Mr. BARR. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous materials on the topic of my Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.

[[Page H2108]]

  Mr. BARR. Madam Speaker, this Nation was founded on a simple, but 
majestic, idea; and that idea is that we are endowed by our Creator 
with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness.
  Think about these words from Jefferson in the Declaration of 
Independence for just a minute: the pursuit of happiness--the idea that 
every human being has a fundamental, natural right to follow his or her 
dreams, to reach for the stars, to work hard to achieve their God-given 
potential, all without undue interference from the government.
  What is the key to happiness? I believe it to be hard work--a 
relentless and unyielding desire on the part of the individual to apply 
effort and improve their lot in life. Hard work, after all, has been an 
American tradition from our very founding. Benjamin Franklin once said:

       It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle 
     man who is the miserable man.

  And so this story is the story of America. The work ethic defines who 
we are as a nation. It is in our DNA; unconstrained by excessive 
government, the industry and creativity of the American people have 
fueled the most prosperous and productive nation in the history of the 
  So what gives Americans--or anyone else for that matter--the 
character to pursue happiness? What animates our capacity to do work? 
In a word: energy.
  Quite literally, the classic, scientific definition of energy is the 
ability to do work. And Americans' ability to perform work, to work 
hard and to pursue happiness over the years has been supported by an 
abundant and affordable supply of domestic American-produced energy. 
Energy has been the indispensable ingredient in Americans' ability to 
pursue happiness.
  Think about it: the story of this country has been the story of 
American energy--coal, oil, natural gas. Abundant, reliable, affordable 
energy has always been essential to a growing national economy. It 
built the railroads and conquered the West. It spawned the industrial 
revolution and won two world wars. It revolutionized communications and 
fostered innovation from Henry Ford to the Wright brothers, Apollo and 
Neil Armstrong. It propelled us into the Information Age and the 
knowledge-based economy. Energy always has been and always will be the 
key to Americans' ability to work hard and pursue happiness.
  It is no surprise then that the countries with the best human health 
and the most material wealth on this planet are the countries with the 
highest levels of energy consumption. The most salient difference 
between nations in the developed world and nations in the lesser-
developed world is that nations in the developed world produce and 
consume the most energy, whereas nations in the lesser-developed parts 
of the world produce and consume the least.
  And so before us we have a choice, and it's a choice between two 
futures. The first is a future of energy freedom and independence in 
which we continue to embrace the ideals of our Founding Fathers, of 
Jefferson and Franklin, where men follow their dreams, can work hard 
and pursue happiness unconstrained by central planners in Washington, 
D.C., where we can pursue an open energy system and a diversity of 
energy sources to create jobs and opportunity and power a future of 
unlimited growth and potential.
  The second is a future of energy scarcity, a future of energy 
dependency in which we abandon the traditions of the Founding Fathers, 
reject the American work ethic, and deprive Americans of their ability 
to pursue their dreams, by limiting the diversity of their energy 
choices to only those that Washington politicians and not the American 
people decide are worthwhile and sustainable.
  In short, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, we can be the happy man. 
We can pursue happiness, or we can be the idle man. The choice is ours, 
and here's why this is relevant today. We are on the path toward a 
future of energy scarcity rather than energy freedom. We are on a path 
that replaces Americans' right to work hard and pursue happiness with a 
government-directed society in which politicians and bureaucrats 
restrict Americans' freedom and limit their choices. And the best 
example of this is the Obama administration's war on coal.
  What is the impact of this great, abundant natural resource? In 2012, 
coal was responsible for 37 percent of electricity generated in the 
United States, more than any other source of electricity. Given current 
consumption rates, the United States has more than 230 years remaining 
in coal reserves. Coal is mined in 25 U.S. States and is responsible 
for over 760,000 U.S. jobs.
  My home State, Kentucky, has produced energy for centuries. And most 
importantly, we have produced coal. And our coal industry that has been 
built by the hard work of my fellow Kentuckians powers America. 
Kentucky was the third largest coal producer in the United States 
during 2011, and coal mining was by far the greatest source of energy 
production in the Commonwealth. In 2011, coal mines employed more than 
19,000 individuals through the year, and mining directly contributed 
approximately $4 billion to the Commonwealth's economy.
  What has the war on coal brought to our country and to Kentucky? 
Domestic coal decreased by 4.6 percent just last year. In 2012, U.S. 
coal consumption for electric power declined by 11.5 percent. Within 
the past year, 226 coal electricity-generating units have been shut 
down. In 2012, Kentucky's overall coal production decreased by 16.3 
percent, reaching its lowest level of production since 1965.

  And this has an impact on real people. U.S. coal-mining jobs dropped 
by 7,700 in 2012, and new and pending EPA regulations will cost 1.65 
million jobs. With 205 coal-fired generators shutting down in the 
coming year due to stricter environmental regulations, the United 
States is expected to lose up to 17,000 jobs.
  In my home State of Kentucky, this war on coal has been devastating 
to my fellow Kentuckians. In 2012, direct employment in Kentucky's coal 
industry decreased by over 4,000 workers.
  Mr. Speaker, this has a real impact on real lives. It's easy to sit 
in Washington and issue regulations when you don't have to confront the 
human cost.
  I want to yield time to some of my fellow colleagues in the House; 
but before I do, I want to tell a brief story that I think tells the 
story of the war on coal and why it matters to people all around this 
country. It's a story of a young coal miner that I met in my home State 
of Kentucky. His name is Chris Woods, and Chris commutes over an hour 
each way, both ways, to work and back home every day. He took me in the 
coal mine, and he wanted to show me his work. And it's heroic work what 
these coal miners do. And he took me underground and he showed me what 
he did. As we were coming out of the mine, and as I recognized that 
what he was doing was providing low-cost, reliable electricity to the 
American people, he looked at me and he said: You know, Andy, I don't 
really know much about politics. And, frankly, I don't care much about 
politics; but if you can save my job, I'm for you.
  And the thing about Chris Woods was he wasn't thinking about himself. 
His one paycheck takes care of his wife, two children, and both sets of 

                              {time}  1740

  This matters to people. And for every one coal mining job lost, there 
are 3\1/2\ additional jobs that are dependent on the coal industry.
  And so, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to having a discussion tonight 
about the future of coal in America, about the choices we have as a 
country to pursue our happiness, to work hard, to fulfill and embrace 
the Founding Fathers' vision that we should shoot for the stars, that 
we should have energy diversity and energy freedom, and we should 
reject the path we're on, a path of energy scarcity and dependence.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to yield to the gentlelady from 
Missouri, Ann Wagner.
  Mrs. WAGNER. I thank the gentleman from Kentucky for yielding and for 
hosting this Special Order on the importance of America's coal 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss the importance of coal in Missouri. 
There is no denying that coal has played a vital role in providing an 
abundant source of power to plants that generate electricity for 
families and for businesses across this country.
  In Missouri, coal-fired electricity is responsible for 81 percent of 
the State's electric supply, and largely contributed

[[Page H2109]]

to Missouri's low electricity rate of 7 cents per kilowatt hour in 
2011, compared with the national average of 10 cents per kilowatt hour 
for that very same year.
  Additionally, Missouri was sixth in the country in coal consumption, 
with 46 million tons of coal used for electricity in 2011, of which 
Ameren Missouri's Meramec plant in the Second Congressional District 
consumed 3\1/2\ million tons.
  Ameren Missouri, based out of St. Louis, is the State's largest 
electric utility and provides electric service to approximately 1.2 
million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the 
Greater St. Louis area.
  In addition to the consumption of coal, the Greater St. Louis area is 
also a critical player in the procurement of coal for our Nation's 
energy needs, with companies like Arch Coal, Peabody Coal and Patriot 
Coal headquartered in St. Louis and drawing employees from Missouri's 
Second Congressional District. These companies are among some of the 
country's and the world's largest coal providers.
  All of this helps in keeping energy costs low for families and for 
businesses. More than half of American households devote more than 20 
percent of their family budget to energy costs and, in this economy, we 
must do everything we can in order to keep the costs of electricity 
  Despite the reliance on coal in providing for this country's energy 
needs and contributing to low electricity prices, this administration 
has continually made it more difficult for these longstanding plants to 
operate, which ultimately threatens the industry for the future.
  Existing power plants are already in the middle of meeting compliance 
with an EPA regulation aimed at reducing uncontrolled greenhouse gas 
emissions by 90 percent over 3 years. Now EPA is also proposing to 
regulate greenhouse gases for new power plants that will require them 
to meet a natural gas standard for air emissions by relying on unproven 
technology utilizing carbon capture and storage.
  This standard was originally designed for a completely different 
energy source and relies on technology that has not yet been 
commercially tested, with the EPA itself estimating that this New 
Source Performance Standards rule will add around 80 percent to the 
cost of electricity for a new coal plant.
  The EPA has already missed their April 13 deadline to finalize the 
rule, citing that they are still reviewing the close to 2 million 
comments that have been offered on the proposal. Among these comments 
are submissions from 221 Members of Congress, including 14 Democrats, 
who all have concerns with the devastating impact that this rule will 
have on jobs and the economy.
  As a new Member of Congress, I would like to join my colleagues in 
opposition of this rule. The New Source Performance Standards rule will 
deny economic and environmental benefits of new low-emissions coal 
power plants in favor of plants that rely on commercially unproven 
technology in order to chase unrealistic and marginal environmental 
  On top of all of this, President Obama's nominee to head the EPA 
during his second term only promises to bring the same kind of policies 
that have shut down factories and bogged down companies with increased 
regulatory red tape during his first term.
  Gina McCarthy has headed the EPA's Office on Air Quality since 2009, 
and was instrumental in the creation of these regulations that have 
attacked the coal industry.
  I applaud Senator Roy Blunt's leadership in placing a hold on her 
nomination, and hope that my other Senate colleagues will also take a 
hard look at her previous agenda when considering her legitimacy for 
the position, with such an important part of our domestic energy 
production and economic activity at stake. The coal industry just 
simply cannot handle four more years of the same regulatory overburden 
by the EPA.

  What this all comes down to is continuing to provide reliable and 
affordable energy for the people of Missouri and the United States of 
America. Increasing costs of doing business subsequently increases the 
price of energy for households at a time when families are spending 
more and more of their budget on powering their homes.
  The amount that American households devote from their family budget 
to energy cost is more than double from 10 years ago, and these 
regulations on coal have all played a significant role in that.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentlelady, and appreciate her comments on the 
fact that certainly affordable electricity is part of this discussion. 
And it's particularly important to recognize that the war on coal 
affects everybody, not just coal miners, not just people in the power 
industry, but seniors on fixed income.
  Over half of American households devote more than 20 percent of their 
family budget to energy costs, more than double 10 years ago, and so 
this matters to every middle class family in America.
  At this time I'd like to yield to my colleague, the gentleman from 
Kentucky, the chair of the Energy Subcommittee.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I want to thank the gentleman from Kentucky for 
hosting this discussion about the importance of coal, and for all those 
who are going to participate in this discussion this evening.
  When President Obama was seeking the office he now holds, he visited 
San Francisco and he attended a meeting in San Francisco. And at that 
meeting he made the comment that if he was elected President, you could 
still build a coal plant in America, but he would bankrupt the 
  And guess what?
  He and his administration have made it very clear, despite their 
comments that they support all of the above in energy policy to produce 
electricity, they've made it very clear that they do not support the 
use of coal.
  The gentleman from Kentucky mentioned earlier that over 205 coal-
burning plants have closed in this country in recent years. And this 
President's EPA recently came out with a rule proposal relating to 
greenhouse gas emissions, and that when they finalize that rule--they 
were supposed to have finalized it on April 13 and they did not do it--
but when they finalize it, it will be impossible to build a new coal-
powered plant in America because the technology is not available to 
meet the emissions standards required by EPA.
  Now, let's think about that for a moment. We would be the only 
country in the world in which you would not be able to build a coal-
powered plant to produce electricity. And we know that in China, 
they're building more and more every day, every week, every month. The 
same thing in India. And even in Germany, where they closed down their 
nuclear power plants, they're building more coal-powered plants.
  Now, what does that mean to America if we can not build a new coal-
powered plant?
  My friend from Virginia was talking about, in Virginia, just about a 
year ago, they built one of the cleanest burning coal-powered plants in 
  I was in Texarkana, Arkansas, in December. They opened up another 
clean-burning plant in Arkansas. But under these new regulations, you 
would not be able to build any plant, regardless of how clean it is.

                              {time}  1750

  Now the sad thing about this is that we're losing jobs because of 
these regulations. But just as important, America is becoming less 
competitive in the global marketplace because it's increasing the cost 
of electricity, making it much more difficult for us to compete in the 
global marketplace. And the sad thing about it is that this is being 
done by regulators without any public debate.
  It's hard to believe that a regulation administered by EPA will 
prohibit the building of any coal-powered plant in America, once it's 
final, from that day forward, unless the technology is dramatically 
improved. And yet there's no public debate about it. This is a decision 
that should be made on the floor of the House of Representatives and on 
the floor of the United States Senate, not by a group of regulators who 
determine that they want to put coal out of business.
  Now a few of our friends were talking earlier in the 1-minutes about 
climate change. America does not have to take a backseat to anyone on a 
clean environment. In fact, our CO2 emissions in

[[Page H2110]]

America today are lower than they have been in 20 years, and our other 
emissions are lower than they have been in many, many years because our 
Clean Air Act and our Clean Water Act are working. But let's not use 
these pieces of legislation to penalize the American people and lose 
jobs and be less competitive in the global marketplace.
  So I want to thank the gentleman for sponsoring this event. Let's be 
mindful of the importance of coal and producing electricity in America.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman. And I think his final point was a 
good one; that, ironically, the EPA's overly restrictive policies are 
actually contributing to a negative global environment. The crackdown 
on domestic energy production is producing exports to countries with 
inferior electrical generation capabilities. We need to unleash the 
American free enterprise system. The American free enterprise system is 
what will solve problems in utility generation and energy production.
  So I thank the gentleman, and I look forward to continuing to work 
with him on this important topic.
  I now would like to recognize the gentlelady from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. I would like to thank the gentleman from Kentucky for 
hosting us today to talk about coal. As he mentioned, I am from the 
great State of West Virginia, one of the largest coal-producing States 
in our Nation, and, historically, some of the largest coal-producing 
areas of our Nation.
  As we know, coal is a huge part of the economy in West Virginia. But 
we also know that energy is a jobs economy. When you're generating 
energy in any capacity, you're generating jobs. We have over 7.6 
percent unemployment across the country, and yet we have a President 
who wants to pick winners and losers on the energy front. Coal has been 
one of the President's favorite losers, as we have seen and heard from 
our colleagues.
  But there are three reasons I'm standing here today. The first reason 
I'm here is to stand up for the jobs of tens of thousands of West 
Virginians, whether that's a coal miner, as you mentioned, 
transportation, shop owner, electrician, fuel supplier, and all the 
different jobs that are connected with getting to and burning our 
Nation's most abundant resource. And I'm very concerned about it. We 
lost 1,200 jobs in the last quarter of 2012 in West Virginia alone.
  Secondly, I'm here to stand up to the families and those who are on 
fixed incomes. As the gentleman from Kentucky brought up, when you 
think about the largest part for a senior who lives on a fixed income, 
the most difficult thing for them is the fluctuation in their power 
bill, whether it's heating or air conditioning. And when you start 
chipping away at $50 or $100 a month, you're going to find our seniors 
and those who live on fixed incomes really suffering.
  Finally, I'm here to talk about the reliability of our electrical 
grid. If we disadvantage ourselves as a Nation, as we have been, and 
say no more coal generation, no more coal-fired power plants, we're 
going to disadvantage ourselves as an energy economy and the 
manufacturing jobs that come with that.
  We've heard a lot about the different regulations that are out there 
that we've tried to battle back in the House and say, Unacceptable; you 
can't regulate; you have to legislative, you have to let this body, the 
representatives of the people, decide who are going to make these 
decisions. We've already had 266 coal-fired power plants close.
  I know we have the gentleman from Kentucky. We've got Virginia, West 
Virginia. Permitting has been very, very difficult. We've got 
regulators who are coming in and have yanked back one major permit 
retroactively. After the 10 years of going through all the permitting, 
all of the reissuing, all of the capital investment, the EPA comes in 
and grabs back on that permit. The court said, No, you can't do that. 
And so we have an overreaching EPA that is willing to overreach into 
the legal area until the courts say, No more.

  Now we've worked in the House to try to stop this war on coal. We've 
passed a lot of things. We did pass the Stop the War on Coal Act last 
September. Unfortunately, the Senate did not act on this. It's sort of 
a bit of a repeating theme for us in the House.
  But the administration is seeking to turn us away from coal and keep 
the war on coal and drive up energy prices. People around the world are 
buying West Virginia coal. Our exports in the Nation almost doubled 
since 2006, and in West Virginia we exported more than $5 billion of 
West Virginia coal. Now we all know it's going to China because they 
have an insatiable demand, right? Guess where else it's going? Europe, 
the Netherlands, Italy, Germany. These are countries that are going to 
use our cheaper resource to power themselves into a burgeoning economy, 
and we're going to disadvantage ourselves here with our own natural 
  So the rest of the world wants American coal.
  Myself and my colleagues here today can't for the life of us see why 
we don't have a President and an administration that believes that coal 
has a great future in our energy mix. He always says he's for all of 
the above, but we all know standing here it's ``all of the above, 
  I always try to end everything on a bit of a positive note. And 
there's some great technological advances with coal. This is why I 
think we've got to keep coal active and in the mix and viable as our 
energy resource because the future for coal is very good. One of the 
discoveries was at Ohio State University, where they were able to do a 
laboratory experiment. We don't know if it'll go full-scale, but the 
technique would release the heat from the coal without actually burning 
it. So there's no carbon emission. That has great potential.
  Also, in another use of coal, the carbon could be used commercially 
for enhanced oil recovery. We hear about all of the oil sands and the 
oil shale in the northern part of our country and even in West 
Virginia. There are technologies that enable the use of carbon to 
enhance that recovery so that we get more from the recovery. And I 
think that's something that has a tremendous future for us.
  We stand here today on a united front. I look at my colleagues and I 
see folks from States all across this country. We formed a Coal Caucus, 
of which I'm the chair, to talk to our other Members of Congress who 
don't have this passion and realistic view of the place that coal can 
play in our energy future.
  I want to thank all of my colleagues here for fighting the good 
fight. We have a lot of miners and their families, other business 
folks, jobs, manufacturers, and elderly folks who understand what it 
means to try to have availability of cheaper energy resources. We've 
got a whole lot of America behind us. This is the reason the 
opportunity to talk about these things tonight, I think, sends a 
powerful message across the Congress, across to the Senate, across to 
the President that really an all-of-the-above energy plan does include 
coal, must include coal, and we're going to fight like heck to make 
sure it does.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentlelady.
  I would like to recognize another Member from the great State of West 
Virginia and yield some time to the gentleman. This is not a partisan 
issue. It is an American issue. And I am appreciative of the 
gentleman's attending this session tonight.
  Mr. RAHALL. Thank you, Mr. Barr. I appreciate very much your giving 
this Special Order for a discussion of America's most plentiful, most 
economic, efficient domestic energy resource we have, that being coal.

                              {time}  1800

  I also come from the great State of West Virginia, a State that is 
proud of its heritage of mining coal--proud of its coal miners, number 
one, those individuals who go beneath the bowels of the Earth to 
extract the energy that has fueled the industrial revolution in this 
country. They are brave, courageous individuals. Every one of us is 
concerned every day about their safety, number one, their health, and 
their retirement benefits for themselves and their families. Yes, coal 
is a valuable natural resource, but our number one natural resource is 
the coal miner, himself or herself. So we thank them for what they do. 
They are courageous individuals.
  My district is both surface and deep mined. We can do both in a very 
environmentally sane manner, a manner

[[Page H2111]]

which produces jobs for our people, produces energy for our country, 
and at the same time does restore our environment and make it a 
beautiful place in which to work. That's why we in West Virginia pride 
ourselves on our clean environment, our productive workforce, and our 
high worker morale because we can do all-of-the-above at the same time. 
And we are for all-of-the-above as far as our energy resources as long 
as all-of-the-above means our domestic production of resources for 
energy in this country.
  Coal literally keeps the lights on. Many a county commission in my 
district, during the downturns in the coal market, has had to lay off 
law enforcement personnel, has had to really trim the lighting of their 
public streets when coal resources are down, when revenues and our coal 
severance taxes are down to our local county units of government.
  So coal is important. It has been, it is, and it always will be a 
mainstay of our economy in West Virginia. Our quality of life--indeed, 
the quality of life in America--and our economic vitality have long 
been fueled by coal, and it's something that the American people cannot 
turn their backs on. Yet too many, I'm afraid, fail to recognize the 
contributions that coal has made to our past, and certainly they 
underestimate the role that coal can and should play in our future.
  Through decades of investment, coal has changed for the better. It is 
not our grandfathers' coal. It is a cleaner, more efficient fuel than 
ever before. And with the right kind of investments and know-how and 
the technologies that are coming online--some of which have already 
been talked about this afternoon--its use continues to improve and 
  Our Nation must embrace an energy strategy that encompasses a broad 
range of fuel choices, including domestic coal, if we are ever to have 
any hope of completely freeing ourselves from our overdependence on 
foreign fuels. This means that this Nation must acknowledge the simple 
fact that coal has been and for the foreseeable future it must be part 
of a comprehensive national energy strategy that will enable us to grow 
our economy, remain strong militarily, and help to influence 
environmental and economic challenges around the globe.
  So coal is a critical element for ensuring affordable, abundant, and 
reliable energy that fuels the opportunities and the way of life that 
we cherish here in the United States of America.
  So as a Representative of coal mining communities and generations of 
coal mining families, I will continue the good fight in the Congress 
for the future of coal and for the health and safety of America's coal 
miners. And as the gentleman from Kentucky has said, it is a bipartisan 
issue. I wish there were more from my side of the aisle here this 
evening, but perhaps they will submit comments for the Record. I do 
hope that many more of my colleagues that may not be with us on the 
floor this evening will come forth and express their support for coal 
as a valuable domestic source of energy.
  I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman from West Virginia. I thank him for 
his comments. I thank him for, in particular, his sentiments about the 
heroic work of these men and women who go to work every day in our coal 
mines. I just cannot thank them enough for their contributions to our 
society every day for providing us with affordable and reliable 
  With that, I would like to yield to the gentlelady from Missouri.
  Mrs. HARTZLER. I thank the gentleman. I really appreciate you holding 
this special time, where we can show our support for the coal industry, 
as well as condemn the Obama administration's current war on coal, 
because that's what it is.
  In Missouri, coal is our preferred source of energy for electrical 
generation due to its abundance and its low cost. Coal provides over 81 
percent of Missouri's electric-power generation, and Missouri ranks 
11th in the Nation in energy affordability. So that means the people of 
Missouri have more money that they can spend on other things for their 
  It also attracts businesses to our State. We want to keep it that 
way. We love coal in Missouri, and we appreciate the role that it plays 
in having affordable, safe energy in our country.
  I wanted to show this picture to you and my colleagues here because a 
lot of people think in Missouri that we don't have coal mines. But I 
want to tell you, in the Fourth District of Missouri, we have a coal 
mine. This is a picture. My husband and I had the opportunity to go 
there and I snapped a few pictures, and let me tell you we are so proud 
of it. These hardworking people here are doing a great job in getting 
coal out of the ground and taking it to our local power plants.
  This coal mine is providing great jobs in my district. These are 
high-paying, skilled jobs. I know some of the people that work here, 
and they appreciate this opportunity. This mine is also bringing in 
property taxes to our local schools, and it's helping the economy of 
the entire county, this region of the district. Plus, it is powering 
two of our local power plants nearby. So this is very exciting for us. 
We want to see this continue rather than having the current 
administration, through the EPA, try to rein us in and to force us to 
rely on more expensive, untested energy sources in our country.
  You know, President Obama and the EPA are pushing this over-
prescriptive, regulatory agenda without adequate cost-benefit analysis, 
workable timelines, and input from the industry. Both of the proposed 
and current regulations being promoted by the EPA are having sweeping 
negative impacts on coal-fueled electricity generation in this country.
  Now, according to the National Economic Research Associates, it is 
estimated that compliance costs for these EPA regulations on the 
electric sector will average $15 billion to $16 billion per year. Who 
pays for that? Who's going to pay for the extra cost to our electric 
industry, $15 billion to $16 billion? I'll tell you who: it's the 
families in my district who are living from paycheck to paycheck and 
who are struggling to put food on the table. When they see their 
electric bill go up every month because of the EPA coming here from 
Washington, D.C., imposing these regulations on our electric industry, 
that's who ends up paying, and it's wrong.
  It also is costing jobs. The same group estimated that these 
regulations are going to cost half a million jobs just next year. Now, 
we have too much unemployment in this country already. Why would the 
government administration from this President be pushing regulations 
that's going to kick out half a million more people from being able to 
work? Just in Missouri alone, the cost is expected to be $500 per 
household in higher electricity bills. It's wrong.
  I want to just point out two of these regulations that are driving 
this cost and impacting them--and several of my colleagues have 
mentioned several of them already. But these two I wanted to bring to 
your attention.
  The New Source Performance Standards for new coal units are 
establishing new guidelines that control carbon dioxide emissions from 
any newly constructed coal and natural gas power plants. This proposal 
requires new coal units to meet a standard so low that it effectively 
is going to ban new coal plants. My friend and colleague from Kentucky 
did a very good job of illustrating this. I wanted to reiterate, 
though, the quote from our President about this administration. He 
admitted in 2008 that his goal was to bankrupt new coal-fired power 
plants. Now, that is wrong. Here's what he said:

       If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. 
     It's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to 
     be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's 
     being emitted.

  Now, it's frustrating to me that the Obama administration, our 
President, would target an industry that is providing clean, affordable 
energy for our country, providing jobs in my district and all across 
this country, and keeping that electricity bill at home low for our 
families, but he is.
  The second regulation that he is talking about is going to impact 
what's called coal ash and try to make it a hazardous waste. Now, this 
is something that is not hazardous. It is going to increase the cost of 
cement. Now, we need cement. We're building new highways. We need it in 
building new homes. We need it for our businesses that are building. 
Why would we do this? It's going to increase the cost for that.

[[Page H2112]]

                              {time}  1810

  We have in Missouri five cement plants that provide 12,000 jobs. Yet 
if this continues to go through we're going to see an increase in 
cement cost.
  So here, gentleman, we have two examples of regulations coming out of 
Washington here that are increasing the cost for our families at home 
and that are killing jobs and increasing our electricity costs. It's 
wrong, and I will continue to stand against it. And I appreciate all my 
colleagues as we stand together tonight against this and we make a 
stand for low-cost, reliable energy, and that is coal. I commend you 
for having this, and I encourage all my colleagues to join us in this 
very important effort.
  Mr. BARR. I appreciate the gentlelady, and I appreciate her stand for 
the coal industry. Just one of those rules that she was referring to, 
the Utility MACT rule, the EPA estimates it to cost $10 billion per 
year, but other independent annual cost estimates range from $70 
billion to $200 billion, well above the EPA estimate. It is no wonder 
that within the past year, 226 coal electricity-generating units have 
shut down.
  With that, I would like to recognize the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. KELLY of Pennsylvania. I thank the gentleman, and thank you for 
holding this this evening, because it's really important that we 
understand exactly what's going on with coal.
  When America was looking for energy, they went to coal. Coal has 
always been there for us. It is abundant, it is accessible, it is 
affordable, and it is truly American. And this is the part I don't get. 
You just heard Mrs. Hartzler talk about the President's statement, and 
also Mr. Whitfield. That's one campaign promise he kept. He said, If 
you want to produce electricity using coal, you can do it, but we'll 
bankrupt you. Now, this makes absolutely no sense to anybody who 
understands what America needs right now, and it's jobs.
  In Pennsylvania, 40 percent of Pennsylvania's electricity is produced 
using coal. In addition to keeping electricity affordable, the coal 
industry contributes more than $7 billion annually to the 
Commonwealth's economy. It's about jobs, jobs, jobs.
  This is a President who just doesn't get it. He talks about all the 
above when it comes to energy, but he forgets all that's below. He 
turns his back on coal and looks to renewables that are very expensive 
and make no sense to the average American. And the hardworking American 
people who produce this coal are miners. We've not only shut down their 
mines, we've shut down their power plants, and we're ruining their 
communities. We're absolutely ruining communities right now.
  Now, I couldn't understand what was so horrible about this product, 
because I heard the President describe it many times, and I grew up in 
a coal producing community. The Sauls were in the coal mining business, 
they had Eagle Coal. My friend John Stilley has Amerikohl. I have 
friends over in the Kittanning area, Rosebud.
  But I went to CONSOL, and I went down to the Bailey Mine. I went down 
700 feet underground to see this horrible, horrible product that the 
President absolutely hates and wants to eliminate. And while I was 
there, I was trying to figure out: Where is it so bad?
  I watched as they did the longwall mining, how it shaved the coal off 
the wall. It's being drenched all the time with a fine mist, and then 
there's vacuums taking all the coal dust out.
  I sat as far away from the machine as you having a conversation with 
somebody. And the guy who I was talking to said: You know, Mike, I've 
done this for 40 years. When I first started, I had to do it on my 
hands and knees. I laid on my back and I used a pick. And the reason I 
did that was because I was married and my wife and I had some dreams. 
We wanted to buy a house, we wanted to raise a family, wanted to 
educate those kids, and we wanted to live our life. And I did it 
through coal mining.
  But, you know, the way it is now, this is incredible. And I stood in 
a room that was at least 10 to 12 feet high and about 30 feet wide and 
watched the coal miner, a machine, shave the face of the coal off the 
wall and then extract it.
  Now, it doesn't make sense to me or to anybody else as a commonsense 
person. What in the world are you trying to do, Mr. President? In Erie, 
Pennsylvania--that's where GE Transportation is, they build 
locomotives. Now, the locomotives haul trains and those trains haul 
coal. And there's been a 20 percent reduction in coal.
  So do you know what that did to GE? They don't have to build as many 
locomotives. We have 3,000 locomotives sitting idle. Why? In a country 
that's looking for jobs, why is this President eliminating jobs?
  Now, look, it doesn't make any sense, it just doesn't make any sense. 
And as we go forward, I would like this President to look at energy, 
all the above. What would make us great as a country? Energy 
independence. That's what we need--low cost energy. And we have it 
right here, right now.

  When coal wins, America wins, and when America wins, we all win. This 
isn't a Republican initiative or a Democrat initiative. As you said 
earlier, this is about America and America's strategy and America's 
answer to energy independence. Coal is a big part of it and has to 
continue to be a big part of that.
  So I thank you for what you're doing. We'll keep fighting for coal, 
we're not going to give up, we're not going home. Mr. Rahall spoke very 
eloquently about it. But all these folks from all these coal-producing 
areas--you know, Pennsylvania is the fourth-leading coal-producing 
State in the country, the third-largest State in terms of coal produced 
by the underground mining method, and first in terms of total coal 
extracted by longwall mining technology. We win with coal, we put 
people to work with coal, we lower our energy costs with coal, we win 
the battle in the world economy because our cost of energy is lower, 
which allows us to pay higher wages to all those folks out there right 
now who are struggling, hardworking American taxpayers.
  Why in the world would we take from them right now low-cost energy 
and condemn it because it doesn't meet this President's standards?
  It's time for us to fight back and fight back hard, not as 
Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans. So, Mr. Barr, I thank 
you so much for what you're doing.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman. I think his comments about the 
railroads reminds me of a quick story about my district in Estill 
County, Kentucky, a little town called Ravenna. This community was 
built on the railroads, and those railroads carried the coal out of 
Perry County and Harlan County and Bell County and all those counties 
in southeast Kentucky. This community in my congressional district was 
built on the railroads.
  Today, furloughed railroaders, their families are without jobs, 
without a paycheck, and this is because of the war on coal. One of the 
furloughed railroaders told me that just a few years ago 120 trains 
would come through their community full of coal. Now barely 50 come 
through every month.
  So this has a real impact for real people, middle class Americans 
losing their jobs. The war on coal is hurting the American people. 
Unemployment is higher than the national average in Estill County, 
Kentucky, because of this President's war on coal. So I thank the 
  I would now like to recognize the gentleman from Indiana to talk 
about coal in Indiana.
  Mr. BUCSHON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of our coal 
industry and the men and women who work in the industry.
  I grew up in a small town in Illinois, 1,400 people, Kincaid, 
Illinois, where my dad was a United Mine worker for 36 years. All of my 
friends' parents worked in the coal mine. Coal created good, middle 
class jobs for those who lived in my hometown.
  I've been down in these mines in my hometown when I was a kid, and 
recently in my district now in southwestern Indiana. I've met the 
proud, hardworking coal miners, and I've seen the impact their hard 
work has on the local economy.
  In 2010, Indiana mined around 36 million tons of coal and consumed 
nearly 65 million tons. Currently, Indiana has more energy underground 
in the form of coal reserves than the entire United States does in oil 
and gas reserves.
  Indiana's demonstrated coal reserve base of over 17 billion short 
tons is

[[Page H2113]]

enough to maintain the current level of production in Indiana for 500 
years. The reserve base for the entire Illinois Basin, which includes 
Indiana coal, is over 130 billion tons, enough to meet the entire U.S. 
coal demands for the next 100 years. Eighty-eight percent of all 
electricity generated in Indiana is from coal. And I'm proud to say 
that all of that coal production is in my district.
  This natural resource is vital to our State's energy industry and 
supports over 3,300 direct mining jobs and approximately 12,000 
indirect mining jobs. Twenty-seven percent of Indiana's GDP is from 
manufacturing dependent on coal-fired electrical generation.
  Mr. Speaker, we cannot deny that coal is vitally important to 
Indiana's economy, as well as our Nation's. Despite the immense impact 
coal has on our economy, onerous Federal regulations can often be an 
obstacle for this industry.
  I'm pleased to say that the administration actually recently 
responded to a request by myself and our two Indiana Senators to give a 
permit to a company creating 100 jobs in my area, but this is unusual. 
The coal industry under this administration should not have to navigate 
the overaggressive and ideological regulatory climate coming out of the 

                              {time}  1820

  The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, recently proposed 
outlandish rules that are nearly impossible to follow. As has been 
previously stated, they can't be followed. There's no technology that 
will meet these standards. These proposed rules are oftentimes, as I 
just stated, impossible to meet, and they fail to examine the science.
  I was a heart surgeon in my previous career, and I can tell you I 
didn't practice medicine based on ideology or anecdote. I practiced 
based on scientific fact. Many of the regulations do not have the 
backing of science.
  Madam Speaker, we need a sound energy policy that supports our 
Nation's coal industry to lower the cost of electricity, create jobs, 
and make our businesses more competitive internationally.
  I'm proud to stand here today to support coal in Indiana and across 
America, and I thank the gentleman from Kentucky for holding this 
Special Order.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman.
  I would now recognize the gentleman from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. I want to thank the gentleman from Kentucky this evening 
for this opportunity to talk about coal.
  I stand with my colleagues to show support for an all-of-the-above 
energy strategy. Montana possesses an abundance of hydropower, oil, 
sun, wind, natural gas, and coal. And coal is a very important piece of 
that equation.
  Coal provides the fuel for roughly 40 percent of the electricity used 
in the United States. You know, I see the electric cars going down the 
street; and I'm not opposed to electric cars, but they ought to say 
``powered by coal'' on them in terms of understanding where the source 
of the power is to power these electric cars.
  Coal keeps energy costs low. It helps keep American businesses 
competitive, and it allows middle Americans to keep more of their hard-
earned dollars during these challenging economic times.
  In Montana, we are seeing firsthand the critical role that coal plays 
in the energy sector. In my home State, it is creating hundreds of 
jobs, fostering important relationships with our Indian reservations, 
being a leader in coal production for our country and leading the way 
for coal exports.
  I support this industry because it enables more young Montanans to 
put their training and education to work and to stay at home with their 
job instead of exporting our talent to other places so Grandma and 
Grandpa have to fly to see the grandkids versus visiting them next 
  You see, in my home State of Montana, we boast the largest coal 
reserve in the Nation. The Powder River Basin, which spans across 
southern Montana and northern Wyoming, contains nearly 3.4 billion tons 
of coal reserves.
  I recently met with representatives from Arch Coal, a company that is 
ready to invest millions of dollars into developing the Otter Creek 
mine in southeastern Montana.
  Developing these resources creates jobs, injects millions of dollars 
into the economy. It helps lower energy costs, and, importantly, it 
creates tax revenues for our schools.
  Cloud Peak Energy recently signed an agreement with the Crow Tribe to 
open up access to more than 1.4 billion tons of coal on the northern 
Powder River Basin, which would help inject millions of dollars into 
the Crow reservation's economy. I met with Chairman Old Coyote of the 
Crow Tribe. He said they have a vision of becoming financially 
independent on the reservation because of these coal opportunities.
  These are exciting opportunities, but the industry is under attack. 
Fringe environmental groups continue to pressure the administration and 
others to slow production and slow economic development. This must 
  As Montana's Congressman, I'm committed to working for commonsense 
reforms that ensure that our natural resources like coal can be 
developed responsibly.
  With that, I thank the rest of my colleagues here tonight for helping 
do the same.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman.
  I now yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. I'd like to thank the gentleman from 
Kentucky for doing this Special Order tonight, and it's an honor for me 
to also follow my colleague from Indiana (Mr. Bucshon), who talked 
about his hometown of Kincaid, Illinois, and talked about the 
importance growing up of coal mining in that community.
  I represent Kincaid, Illinois, right now in the 13th Congressional 
District of Illinois, and just over 20 years ago, these miners lost 
their jobs because of deliberations and the eventual stroke of a pen 
here in Washington, D.C. It became cheaper to import coal from the 
western United States to burn at the power plant across the street from 
this coal mine where these miners worked than it was to dig it out from 
underground, ship it on an electronic conveyor belt across the street, 
and burn it. Over 1,200 miners that day lost their job.
  Those were Congressman Bucshon's friends. Those were my friends' 
parents. It hit our local economy harder than anything we had seen. Our 
local economy has since recovered, but we cannot forget that these 
deliberations in this great body have an impact on all of America's 
families. And these coal miners of 20 years ago are no different than 
the coal mining families of today, and we need to make sure we think of 
them every single time we see this war on coal, that we stand together, 
Mr. Barr, and fight.
  Thank you.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman.
  I would now like to yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. ROTHFUS. I thank the gentleman from Kentucky, and I rise today in 
solidarity with the middle class workers and families who call western 
Pennsylvania home.
  President Obama's war on coal is a threat to their livelihood and to 
our communities. From the mine and power plant workers who have 
received pink slips because of misguided regulations, to the middle 
class moms who are trying to pay monthly utility bills, to the 
restaurants and barbershops and other small businesses concerned about 
costs, President Obama's onerous regulations will negatively impact our 
  Coal is an essential part of our economy and infrastructure. It is an 
abundant, affordable, and reliable source of energy that powers our 
streetlights, schools, and factories. Coal-fired power plants generate 
40 percent of electricity in Pennsylvania and 37 percent around the 
country. Electricity derived from coal is more affordable for families 
and businesses.
  The coal industry employs more than 41,000 hardworking women and men 
across our commonwealth. Unfortunately, these workers, their families, 
and their communities are the ones who will suffer as a result of the 
EPA's unreasonable regulations and President Obama's war on coal.
  These burdensome regulations have forced the electric generating 
industry to shutter coal-fired power plants and lay off workers. Six of 
these coal-fired power plants in our commonwealth--including several in 
Western Pennsylvania--have been marked for closure since

[[Page H2114]]

the beginning of last year. The power company placed part of the blame 
on the burdensome cost of federal environmental regulation.
  The resulting slowdown in demand and surge in costly regulation have 
forced coal mines to shut down or reduce production. Last summer, the 
head of a Western PA coal company attributed the idling of some of its 
mines to the escalating costs and uncertainty caused by EPA 
  Layoffs caused by shuttering of power plants and idling of coal 
mines--and job losses in related industries--devastate middle-class 
workers, their families, and their communities.
  It is too easy for unelected federal elites in Washington to write 
regulations without an understanding of the human costs of their 
  That is why I am working with my colleagues to pass the REINS Act. 
The REINS Act will provide a check and balance on the Obama 
Administration by requiring that any regulation with an annual economic 
impact of $100 million or more be subject to the approval of the House 
and Senate. Last week, I voted in favor of the REINS Act in the House 
Judiciary Committee. The Act was approved and now moves to the full 
House for consideration.
  Middle-class moms and dads, coal miners, seniors, and those on fixed 
incomes deserve the support of all of my colleagues in the House and 
Senate on a pro-growth agenda. I call on both chambers to pass the 
REINS Act as a good first step towards sensible regulation that helps 
grow all parts of our economy.
  There is a war on coal in this country, and it needs to stop. It's 
time to keep the lights on in America. It's time to relight America, 
and we need to do that here in this House and stop this war on coal.
  With that, I thank the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentleman.
  I would now like to yield to the gentlelady from Wyoming.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. I thank the gentleman for yielding and hosting this 
Special Order.
  Wyoming is the largest coal-producing State in the Nation. It has 
been since 1986. The 10 largest coal mines in the United States are in 
the State of Wyoming. And we're having trouble exporting our coal. Even 
if Americans don't want to use it and would disadvantage themselves in 
comparison to other countries, we'd like to send it overseas to people 
who want it.
  Who wants it? I'll show you.
  China, India, and even Turkey wants our coal. Yet here's the United 
States, this little dot. This is all the United States wants. It's 
silly, given this tremendous resource the United States has that 
produces jobs and revenue and electricity that keeps our manufacturing 
competitive, to have to send it to those other countries. They want it 
because they want what we have. They want inexpensive, affordable, 
abundant energy so their people can manufacture.
  We need to protect these jobs in manufacturing. We need to protect 
the affordability and the reliability by keeping these resources 
working at home for Americans with American energy.
  Mr. BARR. I thank the gentlelady.
  I appreciate all of my colleagues here this evening talking about and 
highlighting the importance of the future of energy freedom in this 
country and independence.
  I would like to yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from 
  Mr. LaMALFA I appreciate my colleague from Kentucky having this 
conversation tonight and allowing me to speak on it.
  Being from California, we don't have a lot of coal in California, and 
we don't really use a lot of it either. But what I would like to point 
out is we have a very similar plight in that many of our industries 
have been devastated by out-of-control regulations by Federal 
Government: our timber industry, mining, our ability to trap more water 
for our water supply. Agriculture is also being affected by 
overreaching regulations.
  Also, coal is very important for our entire Nation, and it does have 
an effect on California, too. What I'm saying here is that, with 42 
percent of our Nation's grid being powered by coal and a mandate coming 
down from the EPA and the President's very aggressive remarks saying 
that coal is a thing of the past, we're going to put our country in 
great peril by devastating this industry for our electricity grid. For 
all the many jobs that are all over the eastern part of this country 
and part of the West, we're really going to hurt ourselves in this 
country with this type of policy.

                              {time}  1830

  In California, we've seen the effects, for example, in that we have a 
self-inflicted mandate that makes it where California can no longer use 
coal, and we've devolved down to only 8 percent as part of our grid--
and getting lower. So we're going to be seeing higher and higher energy 
costs in our State. Why would we want to do this to the rest of our 
Nation here? California's energy costs are 14 cents per kilowatt while 
the Nation's average is about 10 cents.
  That's why we see an exodus of business from the State of California 
and their moving to other States. If we do this type of thing in this 
country, this mandate, we're going to see a bigger exodus to places 
like China, where they don't have near our environmental regulations. 
Indeed, China's smoke plume comes over in the jet stream and affects 
California. We're going backwards with this type of mandate, with this 
type of policy.
  So, for many reasons, I think it's key that we support the coal 
industry in America--for our economy and for our electricity grid. For 
those who want to be agitators against coal, then they should be the 
first ones to sit in the dark, in the cold, from not having electricity 
on the grid.
  Mr. BARR. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.