According to the Washington Post and political blog The Hill, republican representative and industry advocate Ed Whitfield said at a hearing on electricity reliability rules that the president had a very telling omission on his online presence for his “Approach to Energy Independence” plan.
“There’s one glaring absence and that has to be coal,” Whitfield said, pointing out that Obama promoted the advancement of other resources including oil, natural gas, fuel efficiency, biofuels, wind, solar, and nuclear power.
“Many of us get upset about that because it has a tremendous economic impact on our country, it provides a lot of jobs, and it makes us competitive in the global marketplace because coal is still a valuable resource.”
Whitfield reportedly drew the hearing’s attention to a section of Obama’s campaign web site which had all mentions of coal missing.
“Coal is still a valuable resource … and yet this administration has been open in the business of putting coal out of business,” Whitfield said.
“To not even mention coal as an important energy sector is unbelievable to me.”
According to The Hill, Oregon republication representative Greg Walden agreed.
“It talks about all of our energy resources, and it leaves out 57 per cent of our energy sources,” he said, adding that Obama also left out hydropower.
“This administration’s energy policies are driving us off the edge.”
While many have criticized Obama’s policies and promises to “bankrupt coal” over the course of his administration, tensions peaked earlier this year when the Environmental Protection Agency proposed its first national standards that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants and possibly alter the future of coal-fired facilities.
Should the EPA’s outlines become final, emissions from coal-fired power plants would be limited to 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of power produced.
Only new coal-fired facilities will be affected as existing plants are already being modified to meet other EPA mandates for emissions and will not be part of the planned standard.
Additionally, power facilities with building permits in place or with plans to commence construction within a year of the effective date of any resulting regulations will also be exempt, along with non-continental US territories and Hawaii.
To meet the standard, if passed, some form of carbon capture and sequestration, such as carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery, would be required.
The agency is accepting public input on the proposal until June 25.