CHARLESTON, W.V., Feb. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to withhold funds from the EPA and the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) for components of guidance or new rules that are continuing the attack on Appalachian coal mining. Specifically, the House approved Rep. Morgan Griffith's (R-VA) amendment that prohibits funding for EPA's unwarranted intrusion into the Corps of Engineers coal mine permitting responsibilities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Rep. Bill Johnson's (R-OH) amendment that prohibits funding to OSM for development or implementation of a major revision to the 1977 Surface Mining and Reclamation Act under the pretense of creating new stream protection rules. The House also approved Rep. David McKinley's (R-WV) amendment that prohibits funding for the EPA to exercise its veto authority under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. These amendments passed as part of the revised 2011 budget bill, also known as the continuing resolution (CR), which is intended to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill needs to be passed in the Senate and signed by President Obama to become law.
"For those of us who live and work in Appalachia, the language and amendments contained in the House budget bill are very encouraging," said Bryan Brown, executive director of West Virginia FACES of Coal. "Coal mining jobs have been under siege from bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. and the EPA in Philadelphia. We are grateful that members in Congress have taken notice and taken action. All FACES of Coal members are calling on our leaders in the Senate to join the fight in defending Appalachian coal jobs and protecting a critical source of America's energy."
There are also base text provisions in the House budget bill that are focused on defending Appalachian coal jobs including one that prohibits the EPA from using any funds to implement or enforce a change to a rule or guidance pertaining to waters under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Also, Rep. Ed Whitfield's (R-KY) amendment will prevent phasing out the use of coal at the Capitol Power Plant.
Brown continued, "The intent of these provisions and amendments in the bill is clear- to defend Appalachian coal jobs. This administration and its federal regulators have been on a mission to destroy the coal mining industry and coal mining jobs. We need all of our leaders to stand up to this abuse and force Congress to act. Our communities, our jobs and our way of life depend on it."
The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal) is an alliance of more than 70,000 people from all walks of life who are joining forces to educate lawmakers and the general public about the importance of coal and coal mining to our local and national economies and to our nation's energy security. In addition to keeping tens of thousands of people employed in good-paying jobs, coal is the lifeblood of our domestic energy supply, generating nearly half the electricity consumed in the United States today.
SOURCE FACES of Coal