Contact: Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202)224-9797
WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, expressed opposition to a new Obama administration policy that would restrict local economic development in the Appalachian region.
“The Obama administration is putting 77,000 good-paying jobs at risk, particularly those in the Appalachian coal region, where communities rely on mountaintop mining to fund their schools and other services,” Sen. Inhofe said. “We can’t forget, too, that mountaintop mining is a vitally important economic activity, as it provides a significant portion of the coal that contributes nearly 50 percent of the nation’s electricity. This policy puts this important resource and our energy security at risk. I am further disappointed that the administration, which prides itself on openness and transparency, continues to keep Congress in the dark when devising new policies that have significant economic impacts. At an EPW Committee hearing on transparency just this week, I told Administrator Lisa Jackson that transparency and openness are ‘not winning the day’ at EPA. Today’s announcement is the latest example of an administration that says one thing, but does another.”
Senator Inhofe sent a letter on Monday, April 21, 2009 to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting information on the delay of Clean Water Act permits for mountaintop mining projects. The letter was in response to the delayed issuance of six Clean Water Act permits, as well as the impending review of 200 additional permits. Sen. Inhofe expressed concern over the criteria EPA are using to re-evaluate and review pending permits. EPA responded in a May 6, 2009 letter. Link to EPA Responses