Inhofe, Capito respond to EPA’s coal ash rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) released the following joint statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to regulate coal ash under subtitle D of the EPA’s Resource Conservation or Recovery Act (RCRA):

“While the rule may not be as bad as some had feared, it will make states and utility companies vulnerable to new regulatory costs and expensive litigation. It is nothing more than a continuation of the president’s war on fossil fuels and another attack on America’s most abundant, affordable and reliable source of energy: coal.  By regulating coal ash under subtitle D of EPA’s Resource Conservation or Recovery Act (RCRA), the Administration is subjecting states and industry to citizen lawsuits. This places wealthy, left-wing environmental activist groups in the driver’s seat of enforcing this federal rule. It will lead to excessive litigation and increased costs to consumers while putting at risk the reliability of our electric grid. 

“The rule has long been touted as a knee-jerk reaction from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston spill in December 2008, but today’s new mandate from EPA would not have prevented the TVA or other high-profile accidents. Instead, it has a potential to cost our economy $22.8 billion and leave up to 64,700 people without jobs. A federal mandate on coal ash serves as a 'one-size fits all' approach and would leave a detrimental impact to states that have responsibly and effectively managed coal ash.  States have been paving the way on properly disposing and recycling coal ash, and in the new Congress, we will give states an opportunity to show they are not in need of another big government intervention.

“We are not pleased with this outcome. We will work to ensure legislatively that states, municipalities and American consumers have the proper protections from the president’s continued attacks on our nation's abundant and affordable energy resources.” 

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