COLUMBIA - Legislators showed support for restrictions on EPA regulations with a 233 to 175 majority vote in the House of Representatives to pass a final package of bills before adjourning session until after elections in November.
The five-part package includes four bills previously passed by the House, as well as a fifth additional part that will prevent the Secretary fo the Interior from issuing new regulations that would negatively impact mining jobs.
The four previous parts include:
- Preventing the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act,
- Requiring analysis of the effects of environmental regulations on manufacturing, energy prices, and jobs,
- Giving states the power to regulate the disposal of coal ash from power plants,
- And limiting EPA regulation of water quality
Those who support the bill say that it will help revive the coal industry, and save the jobs of many Americans.
Opponents say it merely takes away public health safeguards and measures that intend to save Americans money.
And according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. coal production is actually at its highest levels in two decades. They attribute the job loss to the fact that more efficient extraction methods have reduced the number of coal miners needed.
The bill will now make its way to the Senate, though if it is voted through both congressional houses to the White House, President Obama has already stated that he will veto the legislation.