Congressman Brett Guthrie today voted in support of H.R. 2218, the "Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013."
"Because coal plays such a major role in the Kentucky economy, coal ash recycling is an important related industry," said Congressman Guthrie. "Kentucky is facing a war on coal and the opponents of coal are trying every possible means to make coal power more expensive."
H.R. 2218 builds off of bipartisan legislation from last Congress to provide a realistic alternative to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to regulate coal ash. Specifically, the bill would use an existing regulatory program to set minimum federal standards for coal ash, but leave regulation and enforcement up to each state.
"This House bill is a workable solution to coal ash disposal that resulted from extensive study and negotiations between stakeholders, states, the Senate and the Administration. The EPA's previous proposal would have put hundreds of thousands of jobs in jeopardy and threatened to drive up electricity and construction costs," said Congressman Guthrie.
A report from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet dated June 20th shows that 92 percent of Kentuckians get their energy from coal-fired power plants. The report also showed that more than 14,000 Kentuckians are employed by Kentucky's coal industry. Common uses of coal ash include making cement, drywall, asphalt, and bricks, repurposing for electricity generation, or serving as filler in wood products.
"The EPA's own Washington headquarters was built using concrete that contained coal ash," added Congressman Guthrie. "The ability to sell coal ash is a critical component to ensuring coal remains viable and coal power is available and inexpensive for Kentucky families."