Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6) today voted for legislation designed to ensure that coal remains a reliable American energy resource.
By a bipartisan vote of 233-175, the House approved the Stop the War on Coal Act. The legislation addresses EPA regulatory overreach and other Administration measures that are costing jobs, closing plants, and driving up the cost of coal-fired electricity for consumers. One of the bill's key provisions would prevent the EPA from administratively imposing a costly "cap and tax' regime on coal use.
"At a time when we have again been reminded of our dangerous dependence on energy from hostile regimes, it makes no sense to take American-mined coal off the table. It is our most abundant domestic energy resource and the industry employs thousands of people in the State of Alabama alone. Coal is a vital part of our national energy mix and can play an important role in achieving greater energy security for our country," said Congressman Bachus.
Bachus said the legislation would also require the EPA to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the cumulative economic impacts of its regulations. The provision is based on the TRAIN (Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation) Act, which Bachus cosponsored to promote greater accountability in agency rule-making.
Bachus noted the importance of coal facilities to the economies of the communities where they operate. He said that an important part of the economic recovery efforts that took place in western Jefferson County following devastating tornadoes that struck on April 27, 2011 was the decision by Cliffs Natural Resources to make a major investment to rebuild its Oak Grove Mine and Concord Prep Plant operations.