Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., co-founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus, applauds the introduction of the Senate companion legislation to the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (H.R. 2018) introduced by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and John Mica (R-Fla.). The House version of the bill passed the House with Capito's support on July 13, 2011:
"The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act is critical legislation that will restore the balance between state and federal regulators when it comes to the issuance of permits under the Clean Water Act. I appreciate Senator Manchin and Senator Toomey's initiative to introduce this bill.
"This legislation passed the House over one year ago. We've been waiting for the Senate to act on this and other critical bills to rein in the EPA. I hope the Senate will finally stop blocking legislation to stop the EPA from destroying jobs in West Virginia and across America.
"Operating a coal mine requires a significant capital investment -- an investment that cannot be made if the federal government is able and willing to take back a permit that it has issued even when the permittee abides by the conditions of the permit and otherwise follows the law. A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has already held that EPA acted unlawfully in taking back the permit from the Spruce Mine, but that ruling is currently being appealed. This legislation would make it absolutely clear that no permit issued by the Corps of Engineers could be vetoed without consent of the affected state government."