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Cramer Defends Coal Industry Employees at Energy Rally, Examines EPA Technology

Oct 29, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer defended employees of the coal industry at a rally on Capitol Hill opposing new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, and questioned the agency’s understanding of current coal technology at a committee hearing.

Cramer addressed a crowd at the Rally for American Energy Jobs alongside other Members of Congress and coal industry employees.

“When my dad woke up every morning to make sure the lights stayed on never did he imagine we would have a President who would try to destroy his job. The message out of the White House today is coal jobs don’t matter. The message I am sending the President is they do matter, both to providing reliable electricity to Americans at an affordable rate and to the fragile American economic recovery. Thousands of North Dakotans have high paying jobs mining coal, and generating and distributing some of the lowest cost electricity in the most dynamic economy in the country. We won’t sit idly by while this Administration wages a war on coal,” said Cramer.

The recent proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) announced by President Obama effectively bans the construction of new coal-fired power plants by limiting carbon emissions to 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour (lbs CO2/MWh). A second set of regulations is set to arrive next year, when the EPA intends to restrict carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

Congressman Cramer called into question the authority of the EPA to mandate the use of inadequately demonstrated technology necessary to comply with EPA’s regulations at a hearing in the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Cramer said the regulatory actions taken by the agency demonstrate a lack of understanding of the current state of technology for the capture, compression, transportation, and storage of carbon dioxide. Cramer also highlighted the different approach taken by this Administration with carbon regulation as opposed to other Administrations in reducing nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions where government and industry formed successful partnerships with each other.   

Last week, Cramer sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting the EPA hold a public listening session in Bismarck regarding its proposed regulations on existing coal-fired power plants. The EPA is holding 11 listening sessions in cities including Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston, while bypassing all top ten coal states including North Dakota.

Prior to his election to the United States House of Representatives, Cramer served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission. During his tenure, beginning in 2003, Cramer dealt with all aspects of the Commission’s portfolio including regulation of North Dakota’s three investor owned utilities and management of North Dakota’s Surface Mine Coal Reclamation Act State primacy program.