"The EPA don’t understand mining,” House Natural Resources and Environment Chairman Jim Gooch, D-Providence, said at his committee’s hearing. “We’re trying to say to those folks, we don’t want them having ultimate say or control.”I hope Democrats in the General Assembly start acting like Democrats once more. I like clean air. I like clean water. I expect that there will be a massive lawsuit agaist the state if this passes.
Lawmakers acknowledged that it’s unclear what legal weight their measures would carry beyond “sending a message” to Washington. Federal law usually trumps state law, especially in regards to environmental protection and interstate commerce. But lawmakers said they’re trying to make a point for states’ rights.
“We hope it goes to the Supreme Court so we can go argue our case there,” said Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, who is in the coal mining business. “As a member who owns 1,200 acres, when I have intrusion by the federal government that tells me what I can and cannot do with my own property … I call that a taking.”
Gooch’s committee unanimously approved his House Bill 421, which would exempt coal mining from the federal Clean Water Act and other EPA regulation if the coal is used inside Kentucky and does not cross state lines. The lone critic at the hearing, environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald, told lawmakers that about 20 percent of the sediment produced by coal mining goes into rivers that flow outside Kentucky’s borders.
The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee later unanimously approved Senate Joint Resolution 99, which declares that Kentucky should be a “sanctuary state” for the coal industry, free from “the overreaching regulatory power” of the EPA. The state Energy and Environment Cabinet would be authorized to regulate mining on their own.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I'm with the EPA...Jim Gooch isn't
Jim, Jim, Jim. What the fuck are we supposed to do with you? It is a losing battle. Federal law trumps any thing you want to propose. You won't win. You're a fucking embarrassment, Jim Gooch--I'm so glad I don't live in your district.