Congressional candidate Andy Barr praised a federal judge's ruling yesterday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) abused its authority in overriding the decisions of state regulators in connection with coal mining permit applications. Barr noted, however, that this decision comes only after years of litigation -- years that have seen Kentucky lose thousands of mining jobs as a result of federal regulations a court now says were illegal from the beginning:
"Yesterday, communities across Kentucky received a desperately needed dose of hope in a year when our state has lost nearly 2,000 mining jobs," Barr said. "But why did thousands of Kentucky coal miners have to lose their livelihoods, waiting for a lawsuit to rein in rogue federal regulators?
"The Obama Administration's war on coal highlights the urgent need for legislation that strengthens congressional oversight of the regulatory process. There are far too many examples of unelected bureaucrats thumbing their noses at the statutory limits on their authority. They ham-handedly impose their will, effectively telling the people they hurt that their only recourse is an expensive lawsuit.
"Ben Chandler voted against the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, which would have prevented the EPA from meddling in state permitting decisions. Had the legislation become law, this lawsuit would not have been necessary and jobs would have been protected.
"Congressman Chandler continues to build upon his regrettable record of siding with overzealous Obama Administration regulators and against Kentucky coal miners in voting for the cap and trade energy tax, co-sponsoring legislation to effectively ban all surface mining in Kentucky, and opposing other common-sense regulatory reform."