I believe that the United States needs a real “all of the above” energy strategy – one that engages our domestic energy industries as partners in an all-out effort to create jobs, lower electricity and gas prices, and achieve American energy security. This strategy must set a rational course toward sustainable and renewable energy by employing today’s proven resources as a bridge to the technologies of the future. However, any realistic approach must prioritize energy security and recognize the need for a diversity of fuel sources, including the life-improving power of fossil energy. Whether you’re a coal miner, an autoworker, a farmer, a construction worker, or the head of your household budget, odds are your livelihood is significantly impacted by the availability of affordable and reliable fuel and electricity.
Currently, a revolution in natural gas and oil production is transforming the American energy and manufacturing sectors. The International Energy Agency recently released forecasts predicting that the United States will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and that our country can be entirely energy self-sufficient by 2035. Coupled with our 250-year supply of coal, the United States is poised to be the world’s energy superpower. This energy bounty is already reducing costs for domestic companies, contributing to the return or “onshoring” of high-tech manufacturing that will allow well-paid American workers to compete on a cost basis with low-wage foreign competitors like China. And yet, the bureaucrats in Washington, not satisfied with their efforts to regulate coal out of existence, are threatening to stifle this oil, gas, and manufacturing renaissance before it has even begun.
As your Representative and a Member of the Congressional Coal Caucus, I have advanced a number of measures to cut needless bureaucratic red tape and harmful regulations, increase our domestic energy production, and unshackle the job-creating potential of these high-tech extraction and manufacturing industries.
- The 113th House of Representatives has passed several bills with my support that would facilitate domestic energy production and create thousands of jobs. These include measures that would require congressional approval of Executive Branch Agency regulations expected to have an impact of $100 million on the economy; give congressional approval to the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry oil to the United States from Canada; facilitate the creation of new hydropower projects; streamline permitting for oil and natural gas pipelines; and increase energy production on federal lands.
- I have opposed at every turn the President’s Climate Action Plan that would prevent the construction of new coal plants and gradually shutter existing facilities. This would be harmful to the nation’s economy – which receives nearly 40 percent of its electricity from coal – but absolutely devastating to Kentuckians, who receive over 90 percent of their electricity from coal. The job losses in the coal fields would be just the beginning as skyrocketing electric rates ripple across the economy, adding tens of thousands of individuals to the unemployment lines.
- The Administration’s War on Coal has contributed to the elimination of over 6,000 jobs in eastern Kentucky in just the last few years, putting Kentucky’s coal employment at its lowest level since records were first kept by the Commonwealth in 1927. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1829, the Coal Jobs Protection Act, I feel enough is enough with the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to deadlock the coal permitting process. This legislation would put a time limit on consideration of these permits. And, while defending coal miners’ right to work to support their families, I have cosponsored H.R. 2918, the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act, which ensures that promises of healthcare and retirement benefits made to our nation’s coal miners are kept.
More on Energy
Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today announced he will support a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to renew and update Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The proposal comes as the United States negotiates major trade agreements with Asia and Europe, which could open new markets for Kentucky products and support Kentucky jobs.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement following President Obama’s State of the Union Address:
WASHINGTON - Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement upon passage of H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which approves the Keystone XL Pipeline to help create jobs and bolster America’s energy security:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement upon passage of FY 2015 Omnibus:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jamie Hennigan (202) 637-3090
Barr Honored with Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence
Nation’s Largest Industrial Trade Association Names Barr “Champion of Manufacturing”
On September 17, 2014, the National Federation of Independent Business, an advocacy association which gives small-business owners on Main Street a voice in public policy-making, announced that they have named Congressman Barr a "Guardian of Small Business" for his outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small-business owners in the 113th Congress.
Congressman Andy Barr made the following statement upon being recognized:
LEXINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement after touring JENNMAR in Winchester:
In honor of the upcoming 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3, 2014, Congressman Andy Barr spoke about the men and women who dedicate their lives to Kentucky's signature horse industry, and the significant economic and jobs impact of this industry on Kentucky and beyond.
Congressman Andy Barr spoke on the House Floor about the Environmental Protection Agency's strangling overregulation of our nation’s economy. As he pointed out, "The coal industry in my region in central and eastern Kentucky could be the poster child of this regulatory onslaught. According to the Commonwealth's recently released figures, more than 7,000 coal miners in the Appalachian coalfields have received pink slips since 2009; 2,232 of those jobs were lost last year alone, thanks in large part to the overreach of the EPA."