McConnell Again Invokes War On Coal In Proposing New Jobs Bill

Sep 19, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky.— Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on Congress to pass legislation to ease federal regulations on coal mining.  He wants Congress to pass a bill he’s dubbed the Saving Coal Jobs Act.

"The first part of the bill would prevent the EPA from regulating carbon on new and existing coal plants, the second would force the EPA to stop stalling on mining permits," McConnell said in a Senate Floor speech Thursday.

The minority leader blamed excessive regulations for creating an economic depression in the Kentucky coalfields, which he said have lost more than 5,000 jobs over the past five years.

McConnell continued to assert that the Obama Administration is conducting a War on Coal and said Kentucky is facing "a genuine emergency," pointing to news earlier this week that Virginia-based James River Coal is idling mines and laying off some 525 miners.

Critics attribute the most recent decline of the coal industry on the switch to cheaper natural gas as an alternative energy source.