Yesterday, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on a memorandum issued by Energy Secretary Steven Chu last month that could have disastrous consequences for millions of American families and small businesses that rely on affordable, reliable hydropower. Witnesses at yesterday’s hearing said that the memorandum, while short on details, portends more “one-size-fits-all proposals” from Democrats in Washington that will saddle American power producers with more red tape and higher costs that will inevitably be passed on to customers. Here’s more: “Unnecessary and Inappropriate Cost Increases on Millions of Electricity Customers” “These proposed changes would impose unnecessary and inappropriate cost increases on federal hydropower customers, and therefore on millions of electricity customers.” ( Mark Crisson, President & CEO, American Public Power Association , 4/26/12) “No Question that Rising Electric Bills Hurt American Families and Businesses” “Simply put, every time the input costs increase for a co-op, electric bills must also increase to make up the difference. If changes are made that increase the costs of PMA [Power Marketing Administrations] -marketed electricity, it stands to reason that customers’ cost-based rates would also increase. There is no question that rising electric bills hurt American families and businesses.” ( The Honorable Glenn English, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association , 4/26/12) “Raises Significant Concerns About Potential Costs and Regulatory Burdens” “While it is unclear how the Department of Energy memo on PMAs may be implemented, it raises significant concerns about potential costs and regulatory burdens. Future initiatives … must not create costs to ratepayers without reciprocal benefits. With so much progress already underway, it would be a shame to override regional solutions in favor of one-size-fits-all proposals from D.C. that may, in the end, not fit anyone.” ( Scott Corwin, Executive Director, Public Power Council , 4/26/12) “Additional Costs Leading to Unaffordable Electricity” “In times of economic recovery our consumers – whether it be the residential customer struggling to pay their mortgage or the small business struggling to meet payroll – cannot be burdened with additional costs leading to unaffordable electricity. Unfortunately, we believe the Chu memorandum will add costs to our consumers’ electricity bill, not reduce them.” ( Joel Bladow, Senior Vice President – Transmission, Tri-State Generation and Transmission , 4/26/12) The memo discussed at yesterday’s hearing comes from the same Obama cabinet member who once said “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” and gave the administration high marks for its energy policy – which has caused gas prices to double on President Obama’s watch. If driving up energy prices is indeed the aim of this administration, Sec. Chu’s memo appears to be another step in that direction. House Republicans have a much different goal. With the American Energy Initiative , the Republican-led House has been working to prevent and reverse the Obama administration’s policies that are driving up energy costs for American families and small businesses . Most recently, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power approved the Gasoline Regulations Act that will put a stop to three costly new energy regulations, and require – for the first time – cumulative analyses of the effect of other current and proposed government red tape that will drive up gas prices. The House will continue taking action on legislation to address energy prices in the weeks ahead, adding to the nearly 30 other bipartisan, House-passed jobs and energy bills that have piled up in the Democratic-controlled Senate. If President Obama is serious about supporting Republicans’ “all-of-the-above” energy policy, he should call on Senate Democrats to take action and get these bills enacted. Learn more and stay updated on the progress of the American Energy Initiative by liking it on Facebook: Facebook.com/AmericanEnergy .
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Obama Energy Secretary Unveils New Plans that Will Drive Up Energy Costs for Millions