McConnell responds to Herald-Leader editorial

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued this response today to a recent Lexington Herald-Leader editorial.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued this response today to a recent Lexington Herald-Leader editorial.


Only right to ensure EPA does timely job

By: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

I was not surprised to see the Herald-Leader criticizing my recent effort with Sen. Rand Paul to stop the Environmental Protection Agency's war on the Kentucky coal industry. Unfortunately, even as thousands of Kentuckians continue to look for work, there are still those who believe job-crushing regulations handed down by the federal government are the only way to be good custodians of the environment.

The reality is that more than 200,000 Kentuckians depend on the coal industry for jobs, including more than 18,000 coal miners. Hard-working families who make their living in the industry deserve to have assurances that Uncle Sam won't wake up one day and retroactively reinterpret their employment.

Yet that is precisely what happened in West Virginia this year when the EPA withdrew a permit it previously approved and 280 people found themselves without jobs. The Mining Jobs Protection Act is meant to ensure that can't happen in Kentucky.

Nobody is disputing the EPA's authority to regulate the industry. We are simply asking that once they've made a decision on whether to issue a permit, they stick to it. This is hardly too much to ask.

We are also asking EPA for a transparent process that will eliminate all too frequent efforts to hold permits in limbo for months and even years which effectively kill business development and block the growth of jobs. Again, we don't think it's outrageous to ask the federal government to do its job in a timely and transparent manner.

If you're concerned with high unemployment or rising energy prices, this legislation should be an easy choice. It leaves environmental protections untouched, while streamlining a bureaucratic nightmare, and providing employment certainty for Kentuckians who are working every day to produce American energy.

In an economy with too few jobs and too much international influence on our energy prices, this bill can't come soon enough.

In short, this bill is about Kentucky jobs and American energy. Unfortunately, neither subject was addressed in the Herald-Leader's editorial.

Click here to read Lexington Herald-Leader editorial: Senators seek to curb EPA power



Click here to read Wall Street Journal editorial: The Senate’s EPA Showdown




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