(News release from Southern Legislative Conference)


Today, at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), conference members voted to adopt the year’s Public Policy Positions. Most notably, the group approved a position which encourages President Obama and the EPA to reconsider their greenhouse gas standards as it relates to fossil fuels. In a speech on June 25, 2013, President Obama outlined his energy plan which many interpreted as an assault on fossil fuels.

SLC Chairman and House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Alabama) joined a bi-partisan group of legislative leaders in support of the policy position and in opposition to the President’s war on coal.

“President Obama and the EPA have proven time and time again that their approach to energy policy is bad for business in our Southern states. Due to onerous regulations, two coal fired plants in Georgia have already been shut down and over 5,000 jobs are at risk in my home state of Alabama,” stated Speaker Hubbard. “We need renewable energy, we need nuclear energy, and we need energy produced by fossil fuels. It’s irresponsible for President Obama and the EPA to try to eliminate a source of energy that puts food on the table for so many Americans across the country.”

Policy statement sponsor, Rep. Bill Sandifer (R- South Carolina) outlined the purpose of the proposal: “Our goal is to ensure that national energy policy encourages – not impedes – access to all available domestic sources of energy. President Obama and the EPA should provide standards which will optimize the economic and equitable utilization of all types of domestic fossil fuels.”

House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Kentucky), who serves as Vice Chairman of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) highlighted to impact on the Bluegrass state: “Kentucky has lost more than 5,700 coal mining jobs in just the last 18 months because of over-reaching EPA regulations against coal and if the trend continues we are looking at even more devastating consequences for our economy and people. I fully support the policy position that was passed today and hope that it gets the attention from the White House it deserves.”

Fellow Representative Jim Gooch (D- Kentucky) added that the President’s regulations “would mean there would be no new coal-fired power plants built in this country, because the technology’s not available to meet the standards.”

“I fully support the policy position we passed today, and I think the continued tightening of EPA regulations is hurtful to our businesses and industry,” reiterated Rep. Denny Altes (R-Arkansas), the Chair of SLC’s Energy and Environment Committee.

SLC’s approved Public Policy Statements for 2013 are available at: http://slcatlanta.org/AL2013/polpos.shtml.

For additional information on this year’s Southern Legislative Conference visit: http://slcatlanta.org/index.php.