Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

By:  Thomas Holden
Date: June 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLDEN. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the gentleman from West Virginia's motion to instruct conferees to resolve the coal ash provision in the highway bill.

There are more co-generation plants in my congressional district than any congressional district in the country. For more than 100 years, coal refuse piles created eyesores throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. These culm banks are now baseball fields and shopping centers.

Coal ash is not hazardous. EPA determined that fact in regulatory determinations in 1993 and in 2000. The fact that EPA continues to leave a hazardous waste designation for coal ash on the table--even though these three decades of science and facts point the other way--is directly contributing to the loss of current and future recycling.

This designation would harm companies in the still emerging coal combustion byproduct markets that make everyday products like concrete, shingles, and wall board. It will also hinder State departments of transportation that use CCB in job-creating highway and infrastructure projects and overwhelm State budgets and employee resources by more than doubling the volume of waste subject to hazardous waste controls, and translate into increased energy rates for millions of American consumers.

As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I see no better way to create jobs than to pass the highway bill. During the last highway bill, Pennsylvania received over $10 billion, which created over 400,000 jobs. The coal ash provision in the highway bill only strengthens job creation. Simply put, highway spending strengthens the fabric of our Nation's infrastructure while creating jobs for millions of Americans.

I urge passage of the gentleman's motion to instruct.

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