Oct 14 2011
U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) supported the passage of bi-partisan legislation to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) job-killing regulatory agenda. The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, H.R. 2273, establishes minimum federal requirements for the management and disposal of coal ash that will protect public health, ensure safety of the environment, and protect American jobs. It was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 267-144 and now awaits consideration by the Senate.
“From day one, the Obama Administration has attempted to shut down coal mines, coal plants, and yes, even environmentally-friendly coal waste. Today, we said, ‘Enough is enough’ by passing the bi-partisan Coal Residuals and Reuse Management Act,” stated Rogers, a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus and an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2273. “This bill ensures that coal will continue to be an affordable part of our country’s energy supply, while also ensuring that leftover ‘coal ash’ can be recycled for use in our roads, bridges and buildings. This legislation protects public health and the environment while also keeping our country’s lights on. It’s a win-win, and I’m hopeful that the President will sign it into law. For our region and our Nation’s future, this Administration’s war on coal must stop.”
The EPA’s proposed regulations to govern the disposal of coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act is a prime example of the Obama Administration’s needless meddling. In June, EPA proposed two alternatives for federal regulation of coal ash, either of which would drive up electricity and construction prices and cost jobs. Further, the classification of coal ash as a “hazardous waste,” as proposed by EPA, would threaten the “beneficial reuse” of coal ash in eco-friendly products like cement, wallboard and shingles that are used in our bridges, roads and buildings at low costs. If EPA regulations are brought into effect, hundreds of millions of tons of coal ash would need to be disposed. This would not only cause greater costs for consumers and the environment, it would result in the loss of approximately 300,000 jobs.
H.R. 2273 puts forth an effective, bi-partisan alternative that minimizes burdensome regulations. The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act takes a new approach to federal environmental regulation by empowering States to utilize existing municipal solid waste regulations for the management of coal ash. This approach will ensure the safe disposal and reuse of coal ash without overwhelming state operating costs or placing unnecessary regulations on electric generation, energy costs and the economy. Passage of this bill will help to restore confidence in our private sector so that the economy can grow and Americans can return to work.
Rogers has been a leader in combating EPA’s regulatory overreach, corresponding with President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about these wrong-headed coal ash regulations on three occasions since June 2009. Through his role as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers will continue to challenge overreaching regulations and fight for coal miners and their families to bring jobs and economic development to Kentucky.
Click here to download an mp3 audio statement from Congressman Rogers
"From day one, the Obama Administration has attempted to shut down coal mines, coal plants, and yes, even environmentally-friendly coal waste recycling across our country.
"Today, we said, “Enough is enough.” By a bi-partisan vote, the House approved a bill that stops another wrong-headed EPA rule which threatens coal reuse while costing cash-strapped communities millions.
"The Coal Residuals and Reuse Management Bill helps ensure coal remains a strong part of our energy policy by ensuring leftover “coal ash” can be turned into low-cost road, bridge and building materials. It’s a win-win energy strategy."I’m proud to stand with coal mining families and coal-dependent communities and support this bill."