11.17.15

Daines: Coal Keeps the Lights On

“The Obama administration’s war on energy isn’t just a war on coal – it’s a war on American jobs, American families and our national security.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of today’s vote to fully nullify President Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” Senator Steve Daines took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to join him in standing up for American energy independence.

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks. 

 Later tonight, the Senate is expected to pass two bipartisan resolutions disapproving of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan regulations on new and existing power sources.  The Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval will block the Obama administration’s regulations on new and existing coal-fired power plants.  

Coal keeps the lights on. It will continue to power the world for decades to come. In Montana, it provides more than half our electricity,” Daines stated. “Rather than dismissing this reality, the United States should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development. We should be leading the way in powering the world, not disengaging. Unfortunately, President Obama’s out-of-touch regulations take us in the opposite direction. It’s exciting to see bipartisan effort in the Senate to stop the President’s job-killing regulations on affordable energy.”

Daines is an original cosponsor of both bipartisan resolutions of disapproval. The resolutions only require a simple majority to pass. 

Daines has long fought to protect Montana jobs and access to low-cost energy from the Obama administration’s overreach. Daines is an original cosponsor of the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), which holds the EPA accountable and protects states’ rights by requiring the EPA to demonstrate how their proposed regulations could impact each state.

In April, Daines took EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to task for pushing forward new EPA carbon regulations without fully consulting affected states and tribes or addressing the plan’s detrimental impacts on coal production and jobs in Montana. 

Daines delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor:

“The Obama administration’s war on energy isn’t just a war on coal – it’s a war on American jobs, American families and our national security.

“That’s why it’s no surprise that the President’s anti-energy agenda is gaining opposition from both sides of the aisle. 

“I’m thankful for the bipartisan leadership demonstrated by Leader McConnell, Senator Capito – two Republicans – as well as Senator Manchin and Senator Heitkamp – two Democrats – in standing up against the President’s harmful regulations on our nation’s coal-fired power plants. 

“And I’m proud have joined them as a co-sponsor of the two bipartisan resolutions to stop the EPA from imposing its anti-coal regulations.

“The Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval we are considering today will block the Obama administration’s regulations on existing coal-fired plants.

“We’re also seeing strong opposition from more than half of the states in the country – including my home state of Montana—that, through three different lawsuits, have requested an initial stay on the rule.

“The Obama Administration’s reckless agenda is shutting down coal-fired power plants across the United States. It’s killing family wage jobs for union workers and tribal members in my state of Montana and it’s stifling investments that could lead to innovation to make coal cleaner here in the United States.

“President Obama calls it the Clean Power Plan, that’s not named correctly. It should be called the ‘Unaffordable Energy Plan.’  The ‘Unaffordable Energy Plan’ will have a negligible impact on global coal demand and global emissions.

“But it will lead to devastating consequences for affordable energy and good-paying union and tribal jobs.

“Here are the facts: the United States mines just 11 percent of world’s coal and consumes only 10.5 percent of world’s coal. Said another way, approximately 90 percent of the world’s coal is consumed outside the United States.

“Global demand for coal-fired energy will not disappear even if the United States were to shut down every last coal mine and coal-fired power plant.

“Coal use around the world has grown about four times faster than renewables.

“1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, with about three-fourths in China and India.

“China consumes 4 billion tons per year – four times the United States’ 1 billion.

“China is building a new coal plant every 10 days for the next 10 years.

“Look at Japan for example. After the great quake there in Japan, they lost their nuclear power capability. Japan is currently building 43 coal-fired power plants.

“And by 2020, India may have built 2.5 times as much coal capacity as the U.S. is about to lose.

“The Obama administration’s reckless war on energy will have little impact on global emissions. 

“But here’s what it will do. It will devastate significant parts of our economy, causing energy bills to skyrocket, a loss of tax revenue for our schools and roads and destroying family-wage union and tribal jobs. 

“If this rule moves forward, countless coal-fired power plants, like Colstrip Power Plant in Montana, will likely be shuttered, putting thousands of jobs at risk. It also makes new coal-fired plants incredibly difficult to build.

“Coal keeps the lights on. It will continue to power the world for decades to come.

“In Montana, it provides more than half our electricity. I’ve told my kids— we have four children – when they plug in their iPhones, odds are it’s coal that’s providing power to their phones. 

“Rather than dismissing this reality, the United States should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development. We should be leading the way in powering the world, not disengaging. 

“Unfortunately, President Obama’s out-of-touch regulations take us in the opposite direction.

“The people who can afford it the least will be impacted the greatest.

“I urge my Senate colleagues to join in this bipartisan effort to stop the President’s job-killing regulations on affordable energy.

“Join us in standing up for American energy independence. With what we’ve seen happen in the world in the last week, our national security and energy independence are tied together.

“Stand up for American jobs. Stand up for hardworking American families.”

###