On the heels of another major announcement by an American coal producer to idle eight mines and eliminate 1,200 jobs because of more regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Congressman Tim Murphy joined his West Virginia colleague Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in discussion on the House floor Wednesday evening in advance of the House vote on H.R. 3409, the Stop The War on Coal Act.
H.R. 3409 is designed to stop new EPA regulations from dramatically raising energy prices on families and shutting down coal as an affordable source of energy for American factories. The bill, which passed the House on Friday by a bipartisan vote of 233-175, includes three proposals advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee: the Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the implementation of cap-and-trade; the TRAIN Act to require a interagency cooperative review of new EPA regulations, taking into account the cumulative impacts of EPA rules on jobs, energy prices, electric reliability, and America's overall global economic competitiveness; and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, which enables states to safely dispose of fly ash.
Perhaps most importantly, the bill prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that adversely impact mining jobs and the economy; cause a reduction in coal revenue through regulation of coal mining; reduce the amount of coal available for domestic consumption or export; designate any area as unsuitable for surface coal mining and reclamation operations; or expose the U.S. to liability for taking the value of privately owned coal through regulation.
"Over the past week, several American coal producers have announced they would idle mines and cut jobs as a result of excessive regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is further proof that the EPA's "War on Coal' has real victims, putting hard-working family members, friends and neighbors out of a job," said Congressman Murphy. "These cutbacks will mean higher electric bills for families and factories, and fewer job openings for the boilermakers, truck drivers, equipment makers, and factory workers whose livelihoods depend upon this reliable and affordable source of American energy. The American people have called for an all-of-the-above energy policy, which is why I voted in favor of the Stop The War On Coal Act (H.R. 3409) today. With this bill, we can protect Pennsylvania's strong coal heritage, which is not only a critical component to steel production, energy independence and affordable electricity--but an economic engine fueling thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the United States each year. I urge my Senate colleagues to follow the House's lead and take up this bill for an immediate vote."