Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to the Senate:

26 April 2013

Dear Senator:

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I urge you to support Sen. McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act, which looks to streamline the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) broken permitting process.     
Since assuming office, President Obama has tasked the EPA with diminishing American coal production and consumption. After all, it was candidate Obama who, estimating his potential presidency, said “If somebody wants to build a coal fire plant… it will bankrupt them.”  

Sen. McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act looks to rebuff this Administration’s attacks on an industry that is responsible for tens of thousands of jobs and supplies Americans with affordable, reliable energy.  

The consequences of candidate Obama’s threats are now evident: last year coal production in Kentucky dropped by over 16 percent and direct employment fell 22 percent, according to the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence. In eastern Kentucky, over 4,000 miners lost their jobs and coal production is operating at its lowest level since 1965.

While the EPA is depressing American employment through a variety of procedures, Sen. McConnell’s legislation looks to streamline the agency’s broken permitting process. Sitting on permits that were submitted in 2008, the EPA is using the permitting process to effectively shut down Kentucky coal mines.

The Coal Jobs Protection Act reforms the EPA’s unreasonable permitting rules by requiring the agency to approve or veto 402 applications within 270 days.  If the EPA doesn’t act, the permit is automatically approved. Additionally, this legislation gives the EPA 90 days to begin the authorization process for 404 permits.

Allowing the EPA to postpone thousands of jobs indefinitely, through inaction, is unacceptable. Sen. McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act would give Kentuckians a reprieve from the Obama Administration’s crushing regulatory agencies.

It is for these reasons that I urge you to pass the Coal Jobs Protection Act.

Grover Norquist

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