Champion of energy retiring after 22 years in Congress
Leaders of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives are thanking U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (Ky-01) for his decades of service in Congress, in particular his leadership on energy issues and commitment to affordable and reliable electricity in the United States. On Tuesday, Whitfield announced that he would not seek a 12th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Congressman Whitfield has been a great supporter of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives,” said Chris Perry, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. “He has led the charge on our issues for many years. Representative Whitfield has been great for Kentucky and great for our country.”
As Chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, Whitfield has been a tireless and consistent advocate for Americans most affected by federal regulation of U.S. power plants. The Hopkinsville native played a key role in modernizing U.S. energy policy, while promoting clean uses of coal and protecting domestic uranium enrichment capabilities at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Most recently, Whitfield has forcefully and articulately objected to pending EPA regulations projected to dramatically increase electricity rates for members of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives over the next 15 years.
“I hate to see him go,” said Greg Grissom, president and CEO of Pennyrile Electric in Hopkinsville. “Congressman Whitfield has been a wonderful asset for the First District and a very strong supporter of our electric cooperatives.”
Grissom, a former executive at Hickman-Fulton Counties Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, noted that Whitfield has worked to understand and represent the varying needs and concerns of individual electric cooperatives, regardless of the source of electric generation.
Kentucky’s First Congressional District represents about 700,000 people in Western Kentucky.
“Representative Whitfield has been a tremendous asset to the electric cooperative program in Kentucky and nationwide,” said David E. Smart, president and CEO of West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation in Mayfield. “He is always accessible, knowledgeable on our issues and ready to work with us for the greater good of our members and his constituents. His experience and support of the first district will be difficult to replace.”