Measure Reins in EPA's Regulatory Mess
Dec 16 2011
“I am pleased that the Congress was able to work together to pass the final 2012 funding package, which reduces the size and scope of the federal government by cutting spending and reining in excessive government regulations, but protects funding and supplies for our military servicemen and women,” stated Rogers. “For two years, this Administration has gone out of its way to end coal and coal-mining jobs. Through this conference report, we have taken another significant step toward putting a stop to the EPA and other agencies that threaten the quality and way of life for thousands of Kentuckians. This legislation reaffirms coal as a key source of reliable, affordable energy and coal mining families as vital to our region’s long-term prosperity.”
Through his role as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Rogers has consistently promoted policies which reduce the size of government and roll back excessive and harmful federal regulations. H.R. 2055 contains a number of provisions to stop or slow misguided attempts to replace coal in our country’s energy portfolio, including:
· Rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overzealous regulatory agenda.
Since 2010, the EPA’s budget has been cut by $1.58 billion, including the elimination of $4 million in funding in H.R. 2055 that EPA has used to delay the processing of Appalachian mining permits, sending a message that “legislation by regulation” will not be tolerated by the U.S. Congress. In addition, the bill puts in place a number of policy riders to increase domestic energy production and create jobs at home.
· Ensuring that States maintain their roles as the primary overseers of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA).
This legislation fully funds the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) grants to States to operate their surface mining regulatory programs while rejecting the President’s proposal to increase Federal inspections of State programs which would be redundant and wasteful Federal spending.
· Maintaining our nation’s commitment to coal research.
The bill provides $534 million to the Department of Energy's Fossil Energy program for research and development to advance coal, natural gas, and other fossil energy power generation technologies. At a time when most other discretionary funding programs sustained significant budget cuts, the commitment to fossil energy research ($81 million increase above the President's request) sends a strong signal that coal will be a part of our country’s energy portfolio for the long-term.
· Insisting on outside review of proposed coal mining process regulations.
The Department of Labor is prohibited from implementing or enforcing a proposed “coal dust” rule until an independent assessment of the integrity of the data and methodology behind the rule is conducted – preventing the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) from shutting down mines around the country and handing pink slips to hard-working miners in southern and eastern Kentucky. The legislation also contains language to facilitate the purchase and deployment of mine rescue communication systems.
With final passage of the H.R. 2055 Conference Report, Congress will have cut discretionary spending for an historic second year in a row, cutting nearly $95 billion in discretionary spending compared to fiscal year 2010. The measure fulfills the Republican pledge to “root out government waste” and save taxpayers millions through the elimination of costly and duplicative programs. This bill instead helps to create a better environment for job growth by eliminating excessive government regulations on job creators and providing funding for programs to help speed up the development of new American energy. As Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Rogers has led our country in reducing the federal deficit and restoring our country’s ailing economy. For more information, visit www.halrogers.house.gov.