As Expected, Amodei Voted “Aye” for yet Another Onerous Bill

Knowing that HR 2824, the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America bill, would be coming up for a vote this week, I decided to write to Rep. Amodei to express my concerns regarding this onerous bill:

Dear Rep. Mark Amodei:

IAmodei15 strongly oppose passage of HR2824, the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America. This bill would misdirect limited resources and limit State discretion in regulating industries within their borders, stomping the crap out of any future “State’s Rights” argument you might wish to make. The bill requires State surface coal mining regulatory agencies to implement the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule for a mandatory implementation period. In case you missed it, that rules does NOT adequately protect drinking water, nor does it protect watersheds from strip mining.

We’ve just see a few massive spills in streams that supply drinking water, yet HR2824 would limit each of those State’s abilities to tailor stream safeguards or to even maintain their currently adopted standards. For all the time Republicans harp about needless regulatory and legal uncertainty, this bill is a quintessential example for both. But worst of all, HR2824 requires States to waste significant taxpayer dollars adopting a rule that has been vacated by a Federal court.

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is currently developing a proposed Stream Protection Rule that provides for responsible development while protecting our communities and environment. Let them do their jobs. Updates in the proposed rule will reflect the significant technological and scientific advances in mining practices that avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental damage from coal mining.

HR2824 does not adequately address the community, environmental, and health impacts of strip mining. And, if that isn’t bad enough, HR 2824 actually undermines efforts to better support public health, revenue generation and job creation in the Nation’s coal-producing regions.

Please vote NO when this bill comes to the floor for a vote.

So much for that.  My effort, once again, was in vain.  The vote was taken today, and Rep. Amodei voted ‘Aye,’ en bloc with the Republiban majority.

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Save Bryce Canyon from a Proposed Coal Mine

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is on the verge of approving a massive 3,500 acre coal mine right next to Bryce Canyon National Park.1

The BLM’s own analysis shows that the mine will cause major adverse environmental impacts like increased water and air pollution,2 devastating a huge area directly next to Bryce Canyon’s unique ecosystem.

Despite these concerns the BLM just released its environmental review proposing that the mine be approved. BLM is currently accepting public comments on its proposal and strong public opposition is needed to convince the BLM to reverse course and reject this dirty coal mine.

The Bureau of Land Management’s review identified more than a dozen negative impacts this proposed mine is likely to have. These include water quality degradation, increased hazardous air pollution, loss of wildlife habitat, increased coal truck traffic and noise levels, adverse effects to recreation resources and an increased risk of fuel leakage, solid waste spills and wildfires.

In addition to the problems the BLM identified, burning coal from the proposed mine would also be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which experts say are now growing faster than previously anticipated worst case scenarios.3

Given all of the problems this mine is expected to cause, it simply isn’t in our best interests. Yet the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed action is to allow this dirty, 3,500-acre coal mine to move forward.

National Parks and federal lands belong to all of us, and BLM needs to hear from people who don’t want these special recreation areas and wildlife habitats — especially not Bryce Canyon — to be endangered in order to mine for dirty coal.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don’t allow coal mining next to Bryce Canyon National Park.

  1. Dirty Coal Should Stay in the Ground, Natural Resources Defense Council, November 3, 11
  2. Alton Coal Tract Lease by Application Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Bureau of Land Management
  3. Biggest Jump Ever Seen in Global Warming Gases, Associated Press, November 4, 2011