Press Releases

U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement today in reaction to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to indefinitely suspend Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP-21) in Appalachia:

“For years, Nationwide Permit-21 (NWP-21) has served as a valuable tool for the Corps and coal operators to expedite non-controversial mining permits. In recent years, NWP-21 guidelines have changed and participation diminished, but by outright cancelling this program in Appalachia, the Corps will force operators into further regulatory limbo where nearly 200 mining permits are already gathering dust. I have no faith that this Administration has the ability or desire to process and approve coal permitting applications. This latest action will result in further uncertainty for our people, and could lead some mines to shut down completely, or prohibit future mines from ever getting off the ground. Perhaps most egregious and unjustifiable, this ban only applies to Appalachian coal, granting other states the ability to legally proceed with their operations.

“Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia are national leaders in coal production, by far our most valuable and abundant energy resource. Throughout Appalachia, 1 in 4 mining jobs is threatened by these politically-motivated delays in the permitting process, and 81 small businesses in the region stand to close their doors because of these delays. Today’s announcement, in conjunction with the permit-processing backlog, the President’s misguided “Cap and Trade” bill, and EPA’s bizarre carbon dioxide endangerment policy, amounts to another nail in the coffin for Appalachian mining. With unemployment hovering at 10% and 20,000 hard-working Kentuckians relying on this industry for their livelihoods, this White House is doing nothing short of waging war on coal, putting our nation’s economic and energy security at risk.”