Tags: Mitch McConnell | Rand Paul | Environmental Protection Agency | mining | permits

McConnell, Paul Push Bill Limiting EPA Authority

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 12:40 PM

Kentucky’s two Republican Senators are pushing a bill to reduce the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a move to increase jobs, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Friday.

Mitch McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill Thursday to lessen the agencies responsibility over permits for mining. Their bill would help protect more than 200,000 jobs in Kentucky, a state that’s heavily dependent on the coal industry.

The Senators move comes as the Obama administration is taking a more aggressive approach against mining companies.

McConnell said the EPA was “waging a war on coal.”

“The EPA has turned the permitting process into a backdoor means of shutting down coal mines by sitting on permits indefinitely, thus removing any regulatory certainty,” he said. “What they're doing is outside the scope of their authority and the law and represents a fundamental departure from the permitting process as originally envisioned by Congress.”

Paul said the agency was slowing business growth.

“The American people need to stand up and say unelected bureaucrats should not and cannot be allowed to write law,” he said in remarks to the Senate. “That's essentially what's happening now.”

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