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Vitter & Manchin: EPA Twisting Clean Water Act to Shut Down Mining Jobs
In ongoing legal battle with EPA, Mingo Logan Coal Company continues challenge against Agency that arbitrarily revoked federal permit
November 14, 2013

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, made the following statements concerning Mingo Logan Coal Company's (Mingo Logan) request for Supreme Court review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to revoke the company's Clean Water Act permit for the Spruce Mine in West Virginia. EPA's revocation overturned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' original decision to issue a permit to Mingo Logan.

"This case represents everything that's wrong with the EPA's view of the private sector. It's unacceptable that a business in the United States would be forced to spend hundreds of man-hours to obtain a federal permit and in order to provide needed jobs for coal workers, only to see the EPA arbitrarily revoke the permit in an instant," said Vitter. "Whether it's Spruce Mine in West Virginia or Pebble Mine in Alaska, EPA and this Administration have demonstrated their commitment to shutdown job-creating businesses, even if it means going above the law."

"For too long the EPA has overreached with its power at the cost of countless American jobs and critical investments," Manchin said. "As we continue to face a recovering economy, we cannot afford to stifle energy production and good-paying jobs. It is fundamentally wrong for any bureaucratic agency to regulate what has not been legislated. Giving such absolute power to an agency will have a chilling effect on investment and job creation across our great nation."

In addition to the Mingo Logan case, just last month the Bureau of Land Management reversed its decision to lease land for mining in New Mexico after receiving pressure from outside environmental groups. In Alaska, although proponents of the Pebble Mine Project have yet to apply for a federal environmental permit, EPA has attempted to predetermine the fate of the potential project through questionable evaluations of "hypothetical mine" scenarios and a disregard for normal permitting procedures. Vitter and EPW Republicans have repeatedly questioned the EPA's commitment to fairness, transparency, and scientific rigor in their draft Bristol Bay "Watershed Assessment." Click here to read more.

In August 2013, Vitter and Manchin sent a letter to EPA requesting information and correspondence regarding the Agency's decision to revoke the Clean Water Act permit for the Spruce Mine. To date, EPA has not responded. Click here to read more.

Read Mingo Logan's petition for writ of certiorari filed late yesterday.

 

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November 2013 Press Releases

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