Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito teamed up with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky Monday to introduce proposed legislation that could force the Environmental Protection Agency to back off what the lawmakers called overzealous coal restrictions.

Capito and McConnell are sponsoring the Coal Jobs Protection Act. They made the announcement in McConnell’s home state Monday afternoon in Hazard, considered Kentucky “coal country.”

Capito said working with the Obama EPA and its ever-changing policies against coal has been exhausting. She said not only has the agency shot down reasonable requirements, they’ve also “slow walked” permits through the system in hopes investors would lose interest and give up on funding them.

“I’ve been very frustrated with the administration and the slow war on coal that we see,” Capito said. “It’s harming our jobs and our economy and our energy economy.”

She said the proposed legislation puts the EPA in its place.

“It would reign in some of the out of control decisions that the EPA has made and it will give the responsibility, some of it, back to the state’s where legally it is supposed to be.”

Capito cited the recent ruling by a federal appeals court to pull the water permit from the Spruce No. 1 surface mine in Logan County. She called it a perfect example of why there needs to be some set rules and guidelines the EPA must follow.

“[The proposed bill] says if you grant a permit, the Corp of Engineers grants a permit, and works on it for four years, you can’t just arbitrarily rescind that,” Capito said.

She criticized the EPA for changing rules midstream and called for a defined timeline that everyone, including the EPA, must follow. She says the Coal Jobs Protection Act would do that.

“It says, if you’re going to make decisions based on regulations, they have to go through the regulatory procedure because the EPA is evading that requirement,” Capito said.

The House has passed similar legislation to the Coal Jobs Protection Act in the past. Capito vowed to make sure this bill gets the necessary support.

“I’m chair of the Coal Caucus. We have over 70 members. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of our members, if not all of them, on board with us on this one,” the congresswoman said.

The challenge may be getting enough Senate support. However, Capito expresssed confidence McConnell has the connections to help make this proposal law.

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  • RHytonen

    Exactly, Gary.
    These extraction/export corporations have been stripping this country and this state like a stolen car in a chop shop, for a hundred years.

    They now sense the end is near for corporate rule; and plunder of the commons, the Earth's water, land and air; and they want to grab all the short term profits they can before they're stopped cold by the rising tide of public realization and outrage.

    Without a strong EPA, FEC, OSHA, Unions and FDA, the human race itself will fall victim to the carcinogenic wasteland West Virginia is rapidly becoming, and in too many places already is a sacrifice zone to rapacious corporate greed.

    It's evident even in the financial sector and farming, and certainly in manufacturing, the employment market, and loss of democracy in government and justice in fhe courts.

    So it's not "just" the environment. It's just the most permanent and irreversible there.

    These hundreds of millions of gallons of water PER DAY, (in Marcellus alone from fracking, not even counting coal slurry!) being permanently rendered carcinogenic and released into the aquifer to poison trillions more, CANNOT be replenished by Nature.

    • David

      Wow. Hey chief, the extract/export is the result of the anti coal administration we have in dc. You just throw all the regulatory agencies in one pool....convenient. Plus, we wouldn't want to stop the union dues and disrupt the high paid luxurious lifestyles of the union royalty. I will agree you see it in the other industries, all the result of an incompetent administration. The USA has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Is it any wonder why companies are leaving. Join the real world and take of your rose colored Obama glasses.

      • DonaldB

        Isn’t it convenient how time has forgotten just 20 years ago the liberal progressives were pushing for US companies to move over seas because “we were to wealthy” and “we needed to share our wealth with the world”

    • Nobama!!!


  • Gary

    Sounds like Shelley wants to protect her Coal Mine Owners, I haven't seen her helping the retired workers from Patriot Coal