Members of Congress have proposed a number of measures in recent weeks aimed at scrutinizing or limiting the Environmental Protection Agency.
The proposals include: a limit on how long the EPA has to approve or reject mining permits; a block on new carbon emissions regulation; and a call for hearings on the President’s plans to protect waterways from mining.
The lawmakers say the EPA can hamper the coal industry, eliminate jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket. But environmental filmmaker and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth member Ben Evans says that’s not true.
“If our economy is such that we can only grow our economy and have a vibrant economy by polluting and by an industry that really harms the long-term welfare of people and the environment, then I think we need to re-examine what our economy is all about,” he says.
Evans says mountaintop removal and other heavily-automated mining practices have led to job cuts in the coal industry. Further, he says jobs can be created in new energy markets.
Kentucky’s two Senators—Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul—support various legislation changing the EPA’s operations, as does Congressman Hal Rogers.