Congresswoman: “The bottom line from today’s meeting is that Administrator Jackson and the EPA believe they have no obligation to take economic factors or jobs into account when it comes to mine permits.”
WASHINGTON – Rep. Shelley Moore, R-W.Va., released the following statement today after meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding ongoing delays in the mine permitting process throughout Appalachia:
“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Administrator Jackson to share my concerns about EPA’s role in approving mine permits in the Appalachian region. Though broad disagreements remain, we had a cordial and substantive discussion.
I reiterated my concerns that the delay of these permits has real-world consequences on the economy and on West Virginia jobs. EPA decisions do not exist in a vacuum.
I also expressed my beliefs that continued uncertainty will only serve to hamstring miners and mining communities as they seek to plan and seek future investment in their local economies which depend on mining.
Finally, I presented Administrator Jackson with hundreds of letters from my constituents who have written to me with their views that EPA-driven uncertainty could cost them their jobs and their livelihood. These are real people and real families who deserve to have their voices heard. They live and work in these communities and they simply want to play by the rules, but they’re waiting for the EPA to give them the tools to do so.
I fully appreciate and agree with the Administrator’s goals of promoting clean water, but doing so demands a degree of regulatory clarity that doesn’t yet exist.
The bottom line from today’s meeting is that Administrator Jackson and the EPA believe they have no obligation to take economic factors or jobs into account when it comes to mine permits. I find that incredibly troubling, particularly at a time of record-unemployment and economic insecurity.
It is quite clear now more than ever that we must have a united front to stand up for miners across the state. We have a lot of work to do.”