WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Daines today joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing bipartisan legislation to block harmful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coal ash regulations and provide states more authority in monitoring energy development.
The Coal Residual Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2218) brings much-needed regulatory certainty to job creators and Montana workers and helps keep energy costs low for Montana families by taking power out of the EPA’s hands and returning it to the states. The legislation, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 265 to 155, provides an alternative to the EPA’s plan to regulate coal ash by creating a state-based program that provides states with regulatory authority over the recycling and reuse of coal ash.
“Montanans tell me every day how the EPA’s ever-changing rules are preventing them from hiring new workers or forcing them to foot the bill for unreasonable compliance costs,” Daines stated in a speech given on the House floor.“The EPA’s out-of-control regulatory overreach costs hardworking American taxpayers billions of dollars and thousands of jobs every year—and all-too-often is put into place with a lack of oversight or public input. The ‘Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act’ brings much-needed regulatory certainty to job creators and helps keep energy costs low by taking power out of the EPA’s hands and returning it to the states.”
The Obama administration’s proposed regulatory plan would increase costs for coal-fired power plants and threaten the recycling and beneficial use of coal ash, which is widely used in construction products such as cement, concrete, wallboard, and roofing materials. The EPA’s proposal to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste is estimated to put up to 316,000 jobs at risk and could cost up to $110 billion in compliance costs over 20 years.
Officials at Cloud Peak Energy, a coal company that recently signed an agreement with the Crow Tribe to develop coal reserves on the Crow Reservation, applauded Daines’ leadership on promoting the responsible development of Montana coal:
“We express our sincere gratitude for Congressman Daines’ commitment to responsible coal development in Montana and to fighting for common-sense regulatory policies governing our industry,” Greg Pulliam, Cloud Peak Vice President of Government & Community Affairs, stated.“Congressman Daines understands coal development can be done responsibly and its production is important to creating thousands of jobs in Montana and providing affordable reliable energy for our homes and businesses nationwide.”
During his speech on the House floor, Daines also spoke in support of H.R. 1582, the “Energy Consumer Relief Act.” This legislation ensures that before finalizing any new regulation that costs over one billion dollars, the EPA must submit a report to Congress detailing how a regulation will impact the economy and energy prices.
“The Energy Consumer Relief Act is an important step in making the EPA accountable to the American People,” Daines noted.“These common sense proposals will help keep energy costs low for American families, protect thousands of good-paying jobs, and ultimately ensure that the EPA is accountable to the American people.”
Read the original here