Front Porch Blog

Committee to Vote on Mountaintop Removal Tomorrow

Hal Rogers realizes that cutting the EPA's budget by one-third will not lower the deficit, instead he says, "“In this bill, I’m trying to repeal the war on coal.”

Hal Rogers knows cutting the EPA’s budget by one-third will not lower the deficit, instead he says, “In this bill, I’m trying to repeal the war on coal.”

Tomorrow morning at 11 a.m., the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will vote on a bill that is an egregious attack on the environment. The Appropriations bill before them would sharply cut funding for the Department of the Interior and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, and prevent the agencies from improving the regulation of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. We need your help to stop these attacks.

The bill would cut EPA’s budget by a whopping 34 percent. For those of you interested in cutting the deficit, keep in mind that the EPA’s budget makes up around one-fifth of one percent of this country’s annual spending. Hacking their funding was not done to reduce the deficit. As Chairman of the Appropriations committee Hal Rogers (R-KY) said himself, “In this bill, I’m trying to repeal the war on coal.”

The bill goes far beyond just cutting overall spending by the EPA and the Dept. of Interior. It takes away the agencies’ ability to regulate pollution from coal mining. One section prohibits the EPA from writing or implementing a rule that would change the definition of “fill material” under the Clean Water Act. The current definition that was written during the Bush administration and allows for coal companies that use mountaintop removal to acquire permits to dump mining waste into valleys and streams. Appalachian Voices and our allies have been pressuring the EPA to change that definition for years.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) would also be prohibited from continuing their work on a Stream Protection Rule. For more than four years, the agency has been working on the rule, which would regulate surface mining and dumping activities near Appalachian streams and is expected to complete a draft rule next year. Again, Appalachian Voices and our allies are pressuring OSM to not only write new standards, but to write a strong Stream Protection Rule that protects Appalachian streams, valleys and communities from mountaintop removal coal mining pollution.

The good news is that members of Congress such as Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) are fighting to remove these sections from the final bill, and with your help we believe they can do it.

If your representative is on this committee (see below), please call them today. Tell them to support efforts to remove pro-mountaintop removal riders from the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

Name District D.C. #
Jo Bonner AL-1 (202) 225-4931
Robert Aderholt Al-4 (202) 225-4876
Steve Womack AR-3 (202) 225-4301
Ed Pastor AZ-7 (202) 225-4065
Barbara Lee CA-13 (202) 225-2661
Michael Honda CA-17 (202) 225-2631
Sam Farr CA-20 (202) 225-2861
David Valdao CA-21 (202) 225-4176
Lucille Roybal-Allard CA-40 (202) 225-1766
Ken Calvert CA-42 (202) 225-1986
Rosa DeLauro CT-3 (202) 225-3661
Bill Young FL-13 (202) 225-5961
Tom Rooney FL-17 (202) 225-5792
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz FL-23 (202) 225-7931
Mario Diaz-Balart FL-25 (202) 225-4211
Ander Crenshaw FL-4 (202) 225-2501
Jack Kingston GA-1 (202) 225-5831
Tom Graves GA-14 (202) 225-5211
Sanford Bishop GA-2 (202) 225-3631
Tom Latham IA-3 (202) 225-5476
Mike Simpson ID-2 (202) 225-5531
Mike Quigley IL-5 (202) 225-4061
Peter Visclosky IN-1 (202) 225-2461
Kevin Yodert KS-3 (202) 225-2865
Rodney Alexander LA-5 (202) 225-8490
Andy Harris MD-1 (202) 225-5311
Chellie Pingree ME-1 (202) 225-6116
Betty McCollum MN-4 (202) 225-6631
Alan Nunnelee MS-1 (202) 225-4306
David Price NC-4 (202) 225-1784
Jeff Fortenberry NE-1 (202) 225-4806
Rodney Frelinghuysen 5034 (202) 225-1986
Jose Serrano NY-15 (202) 225-4361
Nita Lowey NY-17 (202) 225-6506
Bill Owens NY-21 (202) 225-4611
Tim Ryan OH-13 (202) 225-5261
David Joyce OH-14 (202) 225-5731
Tom Cole OK-4 (202) 225-6165
Charlie Dent PA-15 (202) 225-6411
Chaka Fattah PA-2 (202) 225-4001
Chuck Fleischmann TN-3 (202) 225-3271
Kay Granger TX-12 (202) 225-5071
Henry Cuellar TX-28 (202) 225-1640
John Carter TX-31 (202) 225-3864
John Culberson TX-7 (202) 225-2571
Frank Wolf VA-10 (202) 225-5136
Jim Moran VA-8 (202) 225-4376
Jaime Herrera Beutler WA-3 (202) 225-3536
About Thom Kay

AV's Senior Legislative Representative, Thom spends his days between Durham, NC and Washington D.C., knee deep in politics and legislation, working to persuade decision-makers to protect Appalachian communities from mountaintop removal and to invest in a new economy for the region. He is the least outdoorsy person at Appalachian Voices, and he's just fine with that.


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