McConnell Secures Pro-Coal Measure in Senate Interior Appropriations Bill

McConnell joined subcommittee this year to fight back against EPA’s War on Coal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that he secured language in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill that would protect states from any consequences from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should they forego submitting a state plan for complying with the agency’s recently finalized power plant rule.  This prohibition of the use of funds was included in the Senate version of the bill that was approved by the Appropriations Committee earlier today.

Click the image below to view the Senator's remarks.

In March, Senator McConnell sent a letter to all 50 governors calling on them to “carefully review the consequences before signing up for this deeply misguided plan.” In the letter, Senator McConnell wrote, “I believe you will find, as I have, that the EPA’s proposal goes far beyond its legal authority and that the courts are likely to strike it down. All of which raises the very important question of why the EPA is asking states at this time to propose their own compliance plans in the first place.”

The measure that Senator McConnell inserted in the Interior funding bill solidifies in legislative text that states have the option to refuse to comply with the EPA’s power plant rule.

“If enacted, the measure I secured today will guarantee that governors who heeded my warning will be protected, while also prohibiting funding for the EPA to force states to submit an implementation plan,” Senator McConnell said. “This administration’s EPA continues its war against Kentucky coal jobs, miners and their families, and I have vowed to do all I can to stop them. I joined the Interior Subcommittee this year specifically to be in a position to oversee the EPA’s budget and to protect Kentucky jobs. The provision I secured today is very important to my constituents back home. If enacted, it will protect jobs, keep electricity prices low, and fight back against the bureaucratic overreach committed by this administration’s EPA.”

Senator McConnell also secured a number of other provisions in the bill that seek to prevent the EPA from implementing onerous regulations that will have a negative impact on Kentucky’s economy. He secured language that would prohibit implementation and funding of the so-called Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule that would classify nearly all wetlands, including small ponds and ditches, as “navigable” waters and thus subject to interference by Washington.  Senator McConnell also inserted language to prohibit the EPA from regulating a standard for ozone or “smog” levels until at least 85 percent of counties nationwide that are not in compliance are able to do so.

“Once again, Senator McConnell is standing up for coal miners as well as the increasing number of states that have serious concerns about the Obama Administration’s policies regarding electricity production,” said Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association (KCA). “Protecting states that choose not to comply with the EPA’s proposed Greenhouse Gas regulations makes sense and should be seen by the White House as a growing voice of concern against their policies that will create more economic destruction in coal mining and coal using states like Kentucky. KCA thanks Senator McConnell for his efforts, and we hope Senator McConnell’s colleagues in the United States Senate support this effort.”

The Interior Appropriations bill must now be approved by the full Senate.


Related Issues: Coal, Appropriations, EPA