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All-Of-The-Above Energy

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Westmoreland) for 5 minutes.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, all-of-the-above energy. It's a plan first introduced by House Republicans when gas prices spiked during the summer of 2008. For the 2 years prior, congressional Democrats were following a green energy plan only, doing their best to completely eliminate the traditional forms of energy like petroleum, natural gas, and coal that account for 83 percent of our energy consumption.

When President Obama took office in 2009, he took up their flag and began pushing for his controversial cap-and-trade law that even he admitted would mean electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. He appointed an Energy Secretary that admitted on national TV that he wanted our gas prices at European levels. Well, they're both on their way. Since then, energy costs have doubled, gas prices have skyrocketed, and we are in a crisis in this country when it comes to our energy use.

Just as we saw in the summer of 2008, when these gasoline prices spiked and our energy costs rose, the price of everything else is soon to follow. When his cap-and-trade bill failed to get enough support in a Democratic-controlled Congress, he set out to have the EPA basically regulate the bill into law.

Over the last 3 years, the EPA has issued some of the most costly regulations on power plants in their history. By 2016, the Utility MACT regulation is expected to cost $9.6 billion annually in direct costs, and some analysts estimate its total indirect costs closer to $100 billion. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is expected to impact over 1,000 power plants across the country, and, by the EPA's own estimates, it's estimated to cost $2.8 billion annually.

With no business experience in this administration, I don't think they realize that when the cost of doing business goes up, business prices go up; and that affects every hardworking American taxpayer at the pump. When he turns on a light at home, when he buys a loaf of bread, when he goes to buy a U.S.-manufactured product, it costs.

According to the President's own Commerce Department, the Boiler MACT regulation in itself is expected to cost between 40,000 and 60,000 jobs. The impact of these regulations is already being felt. Last month, two utility companies announced the closing of 10 of their power plants as a direct result of some of the strict new regulations--another move that will raise the price of electricity for consumers.

Yet it seemed as though the President had finally come around when he said in his State of the Union speech earlier this year, right here in this room: This country needs an all-out all-of-the-above energy strategy that develops every available resource of American energy.

It's not often that I agree with the President, but at that point I did.

Unfortunately, the President hasn't stayed true to his words. In fact, just yesterday the EPA announced their latest set of regulations that will effectively ban the building of any new coal-fired power plants by dramatically decreasing carbon dioxide emissions.

Whether the President and environmentalists like it or not, coal currently accounts for almost half of the electricity generated in this country. Effectively eliminating coal-fired power plants is only going to increase the cost of electricity to American families.

We can no longer allow the White House to say one thing and do another when it comes to energy. If the President truly supports the Republican all-of-the-above energy strategy as he claimed he did, then he needs to follow through.

It's time we start to take advantage of all of the God-given natural resources this country has and to have American-made energy, American-made power that will power this Nation.