Washington, D.C. – On the grounds of the U.S. Capitol today, U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall rallied with hundreds of miners against the EPA’s ideological war on coal and challenged the Agency to visit coal country to see the impact of their devastating regulatory arsenal. After recently announcing regulations that would effectively prevent the future construction of coal-fired power plants in the United States, the EPA is now moving ahead with formulating new regulations on existing power plants. However, none of the Agency’s “listening sessions” that provide for public input as these new rules are concocted are scheduled to occur in coal communities.
At today’s rally, Rahall warned that if “the EPA won’t come to us, we will keep on doing just what we are doing today. We will keep bringing the fight to them. We didn’t pick this fight, but we are in it. And we are in it to win it.”
Rahall has spearheaded several initiatives in Congress to prevent the EPA from moving forward with their recently announced regulations. Rahall joined Representative David McKinley in introducing a Resolution of Disapproval targeted at the newly proposed EPA rule. Such legislative measures prevent implementation of new regulations. Rahall is also a cosponsor of H.R. 2127, a bill that would prevent the EPA from finalizing any regulation imposing a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired plants until such time as new emissions capture and storage technologies are widely available.
Remarks by U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall at the Rally for American Energy and Jobs at the Westside, U.S. Capitol Grounds in Washington, DC., on Tuesday, October 29, 2013:
Where I come from, in the heart of West Virginia’s coal country, if you step across the line into someone else’s backyard and challenge them to a fight, you stick around and duke it out. And you fight by the rules.
We believe in a fair fight. But not this EPA.
This EPA has been throwing regulatory stones, circumventing the Congress, and snubbing its nose at the legal process.
They have trampled on the mine permitting process. They have put out air regulations that threaten the future of coal-fired power plants. And, as we stand here today, they are in the middle of conjuring up more coal-killing regulations.
But they won’t even come to coal country to hold their hearings. They won’t come down where we mine coal and burn coal and give us have a fair fight.
They are going to Atlanta. And Boston. And – good grief! – San Francisco! San Francisco!
You want to have a fight about beans, go to Boston. Want to fight about sour- dough bread, go to San Francisco.
But you want to have a fight about coal, you come over to coal country. I say to the EPA, you come on over, and listen, and maybe you will learn a thing or two about what your policies and your politics are doing to real people.
You need to know that this fight you picked is not just about coal. It is a war on jobs. A war on our way of life. A war on the dignity of working American families.
I stand by our coal miners, and our coal mining families. I have every year of my career of public service. I have with my every breath of my being. I am fighting back with legislation to stop EPA from tinkering with our mine permits.
I am hitting back with bills to prevent the EPA from regulating coal out of existence at our power plants. And I am fighting back against any attempt to impose a job-busting carbon tax.
This is not a partisan battle. It is bigger than party politics. It has to be, if we want to win.
Just last week, I stood on the Floor of the House with Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, working together to pass a bill that is critical to coal.
That Republican and this Democrat worked together, for months, putting the good of our nation first. And together we moved that bill that promises more efficient transportation of coal to markets both at home and abroad. It was not easy, but we got that bill passed by a whopping 417 to 3.
In the current climate in this town, that’s saying something!
This fight for coal before us will not be easy either. It’s a big fight. But just as Chairman Shuster and I did on that bill last week, we, from coal country, have to confront this challenge as a solid, unified force. For the benefit of coal and our coal miners, we must.
And if EPA won’t come to us, we will keep on doing just what we are doing today. We will keep bringing the fight to them.
We didn’t pick this fight, but we are in it. And we are in it to win it.