While officials from the Environmental Protection Agency tour eastern Kentucky to asses the effect of coal mining on residents, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., denounced the agency as an “out of control” bureaucracy that is waging a war the industry.
For most of this week, WFPL Environment Reporter Erica Peterson has been following EPA officials around the state. Contrary to the rhetoric of politicians on both sides of the aisle in Kentucky, she reports residents are thrilled to see federal officials in their communities and want more regulations.
Coincidentally it also happens to be Coal Miners’ Appreciation Week, which Paul issued a statement Thursday in recognition of while scolding the federal agency.
From Paul’s office:
“Coal is a vital sector of Kentucky’s economy. More than 200,000 jobs in the commonwealth depend on it, including the jobs of about 18,000 coal miners. America’s coal miners produce the fuel for nearly half our nation’s electricity needs.
Yet, the out-of-control EPA has waged a war on coal and the families whose livelihoods depend upon it. Washington’s bureaucratic regulations and excessive taxation have sought to limit our energy choices and kill even more jobs during this recession.
As a defender of the free market and of coal, I will continue to fight back against the EPA and any other federal agency whose goal is to stifle coal production. I will continue to stand up for our miners in Washington as we continue to recognize the sacrifices they make to provide food for their families and energy for America.”