Front Porch Blog

Heath Shuler and Others Who Stood Up Against Dangerous Coal Ash Legislation

Heath Shuler

Congressman Heath Shuler Stood Up for Communities Today

Today, Congressmen Heath Shuler (NC), David Price (NC), Mel Watt (NC), Brad Miller (NC), John Yarmuth (KY), Gerry Connolly (VA) and Frank Wolf (VA) voted against H.R. 2273 , the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, a bill that does nothing to protect our communities from the dangers of toxic coal ash.

Though we are disappointed that H.R. 2273 did achieve passage on the floor of the House today by a 267 to 144 vote, we are pleased that these members of Congress had the strength and courage to stand for communities who live near high-hazard coal ash dams, across Appalachia, the Southeast and the country.

H.R. 2273 does not provide any true safeguards against the danger of coal ash and subverts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s public rule-making process already in progress. More than 450,000 Americans have commented on EPA proposals to address coal ash pollution and dam safety — H.R. 2273 essentially drowns out their voices. You can read more about this dangerous bill in our blog post from yesterday.

From the threat of dam breaches, such as the disaster that occurred almost three years ago in Harriman, Tenn., to health concerns from air and water pollution, coal ash presents very real dangers to hundreds of thousands of Americans. More than half of the coal ash dams considered to be “high-hazard” are located in just three Appalachian states: twelve in North Carolina, four in West Virginia, and seven in Kentucky.

Coal ash is the abundant and dangerous waste left over after coal is burned. Despite the fact that is known to have a wide range of contaminants, including heavy metals, coal ash has never been subject to federal protections, and state laws governing disposal are usually weak or non-existent.

Red, White, and Water

Occupy Your Democracy- Your Clean Water Depends On It

This bill is one of the many that threatens to weaken our most fundamental clean water and clean air laws. In the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street protests happening all across the country, I encourage you to OCCUPY YOUR DEMOCRACY! Part of the reason polluters have such a huge influence in our politics is because we the people are not fully engaged in our democracy. Laws like the Clean Water Act were made law because there was a movement to make it happen. Let’s re-ignite the movement- sign the Red, White and Water pledge if you think clean water is worth fighting for! (And if you have, share the pledge with your friends.)

Next step: contact these members of Congress and thank them for voting to protecting us from hazardous coal ash!

  • Heath Shuler: (202) 225-6401 | Email | Facebook
  • David Price: (202)225-1784 | Email | Facebook
  • Mel Watt: (202) 225-1510 | Email | Facebook
  • Brad Miller: (202) 225-3032 | Email | Facebook
  • John Yarmuth: 202-225-5401 | Email | Facebook
  • Frank Wolf: (202) 225-5136 | Email | Facebook
  • Gerry Connolly: (202) 225-1492 | Email | Facebook

    Related Media:
    Appalachian Voices’ statement thanking Congressman Shuler in the Mountain Express.
    Public News Service: States or EPA? Congress Considers Regulations For Coal Ash

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    1. robert moeller on October 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

      There are those who think household trash is more dangerous than coal ash!

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