Today, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) questioned U.S. Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew about the Obama Administration's posture towards the coal industry, specifically concerning coal-fired generation in the U.S. and developing countries. Chairman Rogers made the following comments to Secretary Lew during a U.S. House Appropriations Committee budget hearing.
Click here to watch the entire hearing or visit http://appropriations.house.gov.
"Mr. Secretary, I have some strong issues with the posture the Obama Administration has taken towards coal-fired generation in developing countries, and I simply cannot support many of the policies emerging from the Treasury Department in this respect. Simply put, these policies are bad for domestic industries in America, and they are bad for areas in the developing world in dire need of a reliable, low-cost energy source. To be blunt, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had thrown up roadblocks at every turn to diminish our domestic producers’ ability to mine coal and burn coal. In my region of Southern and Eastern Kentucky, these regulatory attacks have resulted in some 8,000 miners who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods. Like salt on an open wound, the Treasury Department has now sent a clear message that the United States should no longer be in the business of exporting coal.
"Your department issued new rules last year, and now the United States will vote against financing any new coal power plant by the World Bank unless it is in oneof the poorest countries or the project uses carbon capture technologies that are not readily available in the U.S. These policies deny our companies the ability to provide developing countries with more efficient technologies, and they encourage these countries to look for financing from investors with lower environmental standards, such as China. I would even go so far as to say these policies show that this Administration is in denial about the reality of expanding energy access to the poorest nations. For example, I do not understand how the Administration can possibly meet its goal of providing more power for African countries if coal is left out of the equation."
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers onTwitter or on Facebook.