For far too long, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has been waging a war on coal. That’s a war being waged on Kentucky’s families and our economy. First, they attempted to set regulations on new power plants, which essentially required zero carbon emissions on power plants. The only technology that can meet zero carbon emissions is not proven, so this regulation essentially prohibits coal fired electricity, on which so many Kentucky businesses rely. Hillary Clinton has pledged a war on coal, promising to put coal miners out of business.
After the new power plant rule, Obama’s EPA turned their war on coal onto existing power plants. The existing power plant rule under the Clean Air Act requires unachievable regulations and as a result, it will shut down coal-fired electricity plants around the nation, jeopardizing affordable energy and reliability. While President Obama will not be in office in the 115th Congress, we need a representative in Washington that can challenge these regulations to ensure Kentucky’s coal industry is able to thrive again. I have the ability to work with the other representatives and stakeholders to challenge these regulations.
On day one, I will draft legislation that provides relief to states who are tasked with implementing these regulations under the Clean Air Act. Our states are our biggest assets to fight back against Washington’s out-of-control bureaucracy. I will organize a group of state governors and attorneys general to challenge these regulations both legislatively and legally. Not only do we need to challenge regulations related to the Clean Air Act, but also the red tape and regulations that are making it nearly impossible to simply mine coal. I stopped it in Frankfort by taking on the Obama Administration who told us we couldn’t raise a crop, and I’ll do it again in Congress.
Not only must we ensure our coal industry is able to thrive, but we must also ensure that we are utilizing other domestically, home-grown energy, such as the exploration of natural gas and domestic oil reserves. We must reverse President Obama’s misguided decision to prohibit the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline will create tens of thousands of jobs with private investment dollars and provide our nation with a dependable energy source from a friendly neighbor so that we are not held hostage by oil from hostile parts of the world. On the first day I take office, I will immediately ask for an investigation into the amount of government resources the Obama Administration wasted by studying the Keystone XL pipeline for over 2604 days and 12 hours.
Additionally, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is vitally important to our state and western Kentucky. The federal government is obligated to clean up the site, and Congress must hold the Department of Energy accountable to meeting their obligations. We need representation in Washington that will challenge the status quo at the Department of Energy (DOE).
I have run an agency, and I know which levers to pull to ensure DOE gives the Paducah site the right level of resources and attention. Specifically, I will urge DOE to issue longer-term contracts so that workers at the site will have job certainty. The worst thing the DOE can do is fail to put the required amount of resources into cleaning up this site, causing it to issue short term contracts that create constant uncertainty in the community. I know this, and will work to fix it. I will also work with the House Appropriations Committee to secure stable funding for the site. We must ensure that this important project does not fall to the wayside. I will work every day to ensure that this funding is secured so that the federal government does not hide from its responsibilities.
While we must work to secure longer-term contracts and additional funding for the site, we also need to explore new opportunities. I will work with stakeholders to find those opportunities and make certain that the DOE does not get in the way of future economic development in Paducah. Many have been encouraged by the Global Laser Enrichment opportunity, for example, and we must hold DOE to help realize this opportunity,
Simply put, as your Congressman, I will make sure the DOE uses the assets at the site to benefit the Commonwealth.