Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 9, 2014

Bill to stop EPA rules advances in U.S. House

WASHINGTON — A subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives has advanced a funding bill that would bar the EPA from implementing a series of federal regulations that threaten the region’s coal industry.

 The Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which was approved by an Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, contains provisions that would stop a list of controversial proposed EPA regulations, including rules to cap carbon emissions from future and existing coal-fired power plants. The bill wouldalso  prevent the EPA from finalizing a new rule to redefine “waters of the United States,” expanding the places subject to Clean Water Act permitting.  As well, it would block proposed changes to the definitions of “fill” and “stream buffer zone,” changes that would impede coal mining, according to U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

“The message to the EPA in this bill is plain and simple: you cannot continue to churn out regulation upon regulation without regard for their effect on our economy and the jobs of our citizens,” Rahall said Wednesday. “This bill is a wrench in the gears of EPA’s regulatory perpetual motion machine. But the provisions in this legislation are only temporary, and I’ll continue to fight to pass permanent solutions.”

The new EPA rules are expected to cause electricity rates to increase for most Americans. Just last week, Appalachian Power announced plans for a 17 percent rate increase in West Virginia.

The next step for the Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill is to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee before going to the House floor for a vote.


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