Today the House voted in favor of H.R. 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.VA). Having sponsored similar legislation in the 112th Congress, Congressman McKinley’s new bill incorporates elements from previous legislation introduced in the Senate by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). With the EPA showing no signs of slowing down in their war on coal and affordable energy, H.R. 2218 will rein in the EPA and give power back to the states when it comes to making regulatory decisions that affect thousands of jobs and livelihoods throughout the country.
This new legislation empowers state authorities instead of handing more power to an already out of control EPA. States will be given the authority to craft permitting programs and regulating coal ash. Also, the bill makes it explicitly clear that the EPA will not be given any new rulemaking authority when it comes to coal ash standards. Using parts of Senator Hoeven’s bill, H.R. 2218 improves safety standards, requires permitting for coal ash and disposal facilities, expands the public notice and comment requirements, and creates greater transparency and access to data for groundwater data and permitting documents.
On passage of the bill Majority Leader Eric Cantor said:
“Today, we voted with bipartisan support to eliminate costly federal mandates, allow states flexibility in regulating coal ash, and ensure we protect both jobs and our environment.”
In what was hyped as a landmark speech at Georgetown University last month the President outlined an agenda that declared war on coal, called for Americans to pay higher electricity bills, the creation of more Solyndra’s, and to pass cap and trade. According to the International Energy Agency, coal produces nearly forty percent of electricity in the United States begging the question as to why the President continues to relentlessly pursue such an unpopular and costly agenda on affordable energy. As the EPA plans its next job killing assault, the House continues to pass pro-growth energy legislation that protects coal and jobs.