Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Marsha Blackburn
Date: July 25, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from West Virginia for his outstanding work on this legislation, and also to Mr. Shimkus, who is the chairman of the subcommittee, for his leadership on the issue.

I do rise today in support of the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013. I am an original cosponsor on that legislation.

Now, I think it comes as no surprise to anybody that this administration has declared their war on coal. You can listen to the comments that are coming out of the President and his advisers there at the White House. They've done everything in their power to shut down coal plants and to put American coal miners on the unemployment line.

The EPA has targeted everything from existing coal-fired plants to new plants, coal mining operations, and has been looking at labeling coal ash as a hazardous waste since 2010.

Now, unbeknownst to so many individuals and to so many of my constituents is the fact that the same coal ash that has been used safely to make--and get this--bricks, cement, asphalt, plastics, and is used as a filler in wood products is, all of a sudden, a hazardous waste.

I would like the administration to explain to me if coal ash were a hazardous waste when they used TARP funding for shovel-ready projects to repair roads with asphalt containing--guess what--coal ash.

Was coal ash a hazardous waste last winter when it was used in snow and ice control products to keep roads and pedestrians in Chicago safe? Or was coal ash a hazardous waste when it was used to build the EPA's new headquarters?

While I am sure most of my constituents would like to label the EPA's headquarters as a Superfund site, I would say let's support this bill.