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McConnell Urges Senate to Approve his Legislation to Stop the EPA's War on Coal

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

On the Senate floor today, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed several pro-jobs policies that Senate Republicans would be filing as amendments this week during debate on H.R. 3979, the unemployment bill. Senator McConnell will offer an amendment to give Congress the ability to stop EPA's back door national energy tax.

"My legislation would keep unelected bureaucrats from blocking desperately needed jobs in Kentucky by sitting on surface mining permits," Senator McConnell said. "Remember: this Administration's anti-Kentucky policies have helped bring about a depression -- depression with a capital D -- in many Kentucky coal counties. It's about time they started having a little compassion for the coal families who just want to put food on the table. And that's just what my amendment aims to force them to do."

Senator McConnell's amendment is based on his Saving Coal Jobs, a comprehensive jobs package to help the coal industry from ground to production that tackles two of the current primary barriers to the coal industry caused by the Executive Branch: Mine permitting and carbon pollution regulations.

On permitting, the legislation streamlines the mine permitting process for new coal mines by putting the EPA on the clock and approving 404 and 402 permit applications that sit idle, and are neither denied or granted, after a given period of time. This prevents the EPA from further using coal permitting process as an illegitimate, back-door means to shut down coal mines permanently by sitting on permits indefinitely and removing certainty from the regulatory process.

On carbon pollution repeal, the McConnell amendment would effectively block the EPA's new carbon emission standards for new and existing power plants. Any such regulations would have to be approved by Congress.

McConnell's measure is supported by: KY Coal Association, the KY Farm Bureau, the KY Association of Manufacturers, the KY League of Cities, the KY Chamber of Commerce, Ashland Alliance, Commerce Lexington, the Northern KY Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the National Mining Association and Americans for Tax Reform.

As part of the unemployment debate, Senate Republicans are filing amendments on a whole range of jobs-centered policies -- amendments that deserve not just a vote, but bipartisan support.

"While Senate Democrats dust-off the same poll-tested ideas for papering over the symptoms of malaise, Republicans are proposing concrete ideas aimed at igniting the economy and giving people real hope for something more, something better than what they've been getting for the last five years -- something that speaks to their hopes and potential," Senator McConnell said. "In other words, the other side is doubling down on the status quo, while Republicans are offering change. Specifically, we'll be proposing numerous jobs-related amendments that have one unifying purpose: and that's to break through the stagnation of the Obama Economy and kick domestic job creation into high gear. Our approach is simple: let's give free enterprise and private initiative a chance. Let's use the tools that we know can lead to the creation of the stable, well-paying, 21st-Century jobs our constituents want and deserve."

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