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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act.

As I see it, the three main problems facing the American economy today are the uncertainties coming from taxation, regulation, and litigation. This tone-deaf administration continues to propose new forms of taxation on American job creators to the detriment of our workers and our economy. The administration continues the threat of litigation in the form of the unprecedented and unconstitutional attacks by the National Labor Relations Board against my home State of South Carolina. And we see the EPA creating costly regulations that are forcing businesses not to make decisions on an annual or quarterly basis, but having to make decisions to comply day to day.

Fortunately, the House has worked to turn back some of these actions, but there is much work left to be done. The House recently passed two bills, H.R. 2681 and H.R. 2250. These bills seek to prevent a pair of excessive regulations from going into effect that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. One EPA regulation, the Boiler MACT rule, is expected to cost businesses and consumers around $14 billion, resulting in a loss of over 220,000 American jobs.

Today we begin discussing the administration's EPA regulation of coal ash that will drive up electricity costs for millions of Americans, as well as construction costs for roads and homes all around the country.

From 1999 to 2009, American industries successfully recycled 519 tons of coal ash, some 38 percent of the 1.35 billion tons of coal ash produced. Recycling coal ash keeps electricity costs low, provides for low-cost durable construction materials, and reduces the amount of waste going into the landfills. In other words, continuing to recycle coal ash is good for our economy and it's good for the environment.

Yet the administration continues this headlong rush to destroy American jobs and wreck the American engineering sector. The EPA is considering treating coal ash as a hazardous waste. This is simply the latest bureaucratic overreach from this administration on behalf of their friends from the left-wing fringe and environmental movement. The impact of this government overreach would be nothing short of disastrous, with an estimated impact of $110 billion over the next 20 years and around 300,000 jobs lost. The bill we are debating today would end that nonsense before it can start.

Keep in mind, America, it allows that coal ash to be regulated not by the left-wing zealots at the EPA, but by the States. Our Founding Fathers included the 10th Amendment in the Constitution so that these issues could be handled by the States, not a burdensome Federal agency with a political agenda and an axe to grind.


Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. Yesterday the President revealed that he had raised $70 million for his campaign. If our President spent as much effort freeing job creators from excessive regulations as he spent raising campaign donations from environmental extremists, far more Americans would be able to find work today.

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