Tuesday, April 30, 2013

McConnell introduces new coal bill

Kentucky's senior senator Monday unveiled legislation aimed at streamlining the Environmental Protection Agency's coal mining permit approval process.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the Coal Jobs Protection Act at a speech in Pikeville and also talked about the bill at another stop in Hazard.

McConnell said the bill would help eastern Kentucky's economy, which lost four thousand coal jobs last year.

McConnell, the US Senate minority leader, said the main goal of the bill is "to send a message to this (Obama) administration that we really can't tell you who to appoint But, by golly, if you're going to put these people in these jobs, we want them to have a time limit in which to operate."

If passed, the measure would force the EPA to make quicker decisions on whether to approve coal mining permits.

McConnell plans to introduce the bill in the Senate next week.

He admitted the bill will face stiff opposition in the Democratically-controlled Senate.