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Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the gentleman's motion to instruct.

Coal ash is a serious issue for this country and especially for Pennsylvania. Nearly all of my constituents get their power from coal, and with that power generation comes its by-product--coal ash. It's an unavoidable part of our power generation in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Though the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has some of the toughest coal ash disposal standards in the country, I've been convinced that coal ash needs to be federally regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. However, this motion to instruct does not fully encompass my position on the issue.

Although this motion to instruct calls on conferees to insist upon the House language on coal ash, that is not the whole story. In fact, I support the coal ash language that the bipartisan group of Senators is working on. I've seen much of the work they've been doing, and I can tell you that I believe it to be an improvement on what we're doing here in the House. The question is: Will the conferees agree to a bill at all and will it include coal ash?

My vote in favor of this motion is meant to urge my colleagues to finish the process so that we can resolve the coal ash issue in a way that's good for the environment, our constituents, and the purposes of recycling these materials.

I want to make it clear that I do not believe that any coal ash or Keystone provisions should be used to hold up the transportation bill conference. Above all else, it is essential that this Congress does its job and completes the highway bill conference before the current program expires on June 30. I continue to support the Federal regulation of coal ash as a nonhazardous waste, and I encourage my colleagues to work quickly towards a bipartisan, bicameral resolution on this issue.


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