Kentucky congressman grills EPA officials

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Congressman Hal Rogers (R) of Kentucky’s fifth congressional district looked for answers on Capitol Hill, but came up empty.

Rogers grilled an Environmental Protection Agency official about continued delays in the permitting process for coal mines. This came after a court decision in October of last year which stated permits must be issued in a timely manner without interference from the EPA.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in the hot seat while the Appropriations Committee Chairman demanded answers about what is going on, or not going on in the Appalachian coal fields.

“What's wrong with us why can't we be treated like everybody else?” said Rogers.

Congressman Hal Rogers pressed for answers as to why the EPA has repeatedly denied mining permits in the Appalachian Coal Fields.

“It's not just Kentucky, it's all of Appalachia,” said Rogers.
“It's not Colorado, it's not Wyoming, it's not just western coal it's just Appalachian coal.”

Rogers asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to name one permit that has been accepted recently.

“I don't have that information sir, how about instead of giving you an inaccurate list now I give you an accurate list later?” said Jackson.
“No, I want one now,” Rogers replied.
“Well I cannot give that to you now sir,” said Jackson.
“I know you can't because there has not been any,” said Rogers.

Jackson was given a slip of paper reading the name of one supposed permit she was unable to recognize the name of. Rogers and other lawmakers claim the EPA has declared a war on coal.

“I have so many people looking for work, out of work and i don't understand how you and i can't understand how you can sit there and not know details of this magnitude to a whole section of the country,” said Rogers.

Rogers said the EPA has not approved any individual permit applications in the fifth congressional district since 2009.

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