In the past week, several Kentucky politicians have spoken out against the federal Environmental Protection Agency and what they call its “war on coal.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Governor Steve Beshear and State Representative Jim Gooch Jr. have all complained that EPA regulation is endangering the state’s coal industry. Secretary of the Energy and […]
by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says the Environmental Protection Agency has declared war on coal, and the Kentucky Republican is siding with the industry. Speaking before the Kentucky Coal Association in Lexington Wednesday, McConnell said the EPA has defied logic and operated outside the scope of its authority with a […]
The Kentucky Environmental Foundation is hoping to encourage the Environmental Protection Agency to rule on issues related to air quality in Kentucky. The EPA has missed its deadline to approve or reject state implementation program proposals. The proposals outline how various regions in the commonwealth will reduce particulate pollution released by power plants, cars and […]
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.
McConnell calls such regulations “a back-door national energy tax,” and says they would lead to higher prices for gasoline, groceries, electricity and natural gas.
Representative Ed Whitfield of Kentucky has filed similar legislation in the House.
Carbon is a common pollutant and is linked to climate change. For more on the science of carbon emissions, watch this video from NPR and Robert Krulwich.
Congressman Hal Rogers filed the bill, which is similar to legislation introduced by Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul in their chamber. The lawmakers say the EPA takes too long to approve or deny mining permits, and the delays may be an indirect method of rejecting permits.
Dick Brown with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says Rogers, Paul, McConnell and Governor Steve Beshear share a common frustration with the EPA.
Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell are supporting legislation to try and force the Environmental Protection Agency to make faster decisions on permits. The legislation would also prevent the EPA from changing its decision and retroactively vetoing certain permits.
Weeks after calling for the federal government to get off the state’s back when it comes to coal regulation, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear had the chance to discuss the issue with the White House.
Beshear returned this week from a meeting with other governors and the president. He says he talked with cabinet members about his frustrations with environmental restrictions on the coal industry.
Republican Senator Brandon Smith, who chairs the Energy and Environment Committee, says environmental regulation is hurting Kentucky, and he’s proposed legislation that would block the EPA from enforcing regulations in Kentucky.
But the bill is unenforceable.
The EPA is gathering input on two regulatory proposals, the more stringent of which would classify coal ash as hazardous material.