CHARLESTON — U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. announced last week that he has been able to cut $1.2 billion in funding from the EPA as part of a proposed 2016 Appropriations bill. Jenkins said the EPA funding targeted for elimination was being used to wage the Obama administration’s ongoing war on coal.
The measure cleared the subcommittee last Wednesday. The bill also seeks to block the implementation of new rules on coal-fired power plants and seeks to prevent the EPA from implementing a controversial new water rule that would designate puddles and ponds as “navigable water,” Jenkins said.
As promised, Jenkins said he and other members of the Appropriations subcommittee went through the EPA’s budget with a “fine tooth comb” and found millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars that are being used to wage a war on the coalfields of southern West Virginia and neighboring Southwest Virginia.
Jenkins says the measure will move to the full House Appropriations Committee for approval next week, and then to the full U.S. House of Representatives. A similar companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
Jenkins says he is cautiously optimistic that there are enough votes for the Appropriations bill to pass the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives. So are we. This is an opportunity for the new Republican majority in both the House and the U.S. Senate to live up to a critical campaign promise, and to make a significance difference in helping parts of the country that are suffering as a result of a six-year-old war on coal led by President Obama.