Target: Congressman David McKinley
Goal: Don’t roll back regulations regarding coal ash disposal and underground streams.
Congressman David McKinley claims that a spending package related to coal industries wasn’t enough and that more needed to be done to roll back regulations regarding coal ash disposal. He voted against the bill, also claiming that there was need for measures to halt the regulation of underground streams.
Roughly $270 million of the $1.1 trillion spending and tax package was allocated for coal-related industries, with $160 million going towards carbon capture research, $90 million to clean up abandoned coal mines, and $19 million to help retrain miners who lost their jobs in the industry, which has struggled recently. However, McKinley claims that it’s not enough, and maintains that his position is to protect the coal industry from “overzealous” regulators. His other proposed addition to the bill — funding for health care and pensions for miners — is admirable, but overall the call for less regulation of the coal industry is potentially harmful. He wants to go back on the progress made by the Obama administration in regards to the need for cleaner power.
Sign this petition and let the congressman know that these regulations were proposed for a reason: the good of the country and the planet.
Dear Congressman McKinley,
Your decision to vote against the spending and tax bill because of the deficit you see in what was allocated to the coal industry seems short-sighted. You claim that $270 million is not enough to prop up an ailing industry, and that people employed in coal-related business are unable to discover other forms of sustaining their livelihood. The proposal of adding funding for health care and pensions for these people is commendable, but the other additions are less so.
Pulling back on regulations for the disposal of coal ash will leave the door open for companies to further pollute and damage the environment. These issues are already becoming a problem in the neighboring state of Virginia, where the Potomac is at risk of being contaminated with toxic water from coal ash disposal. You have also mentioned measures to stop the regulation of underground streams, another potentially disastrous proposal that could not only result in damage to the environment, but to the health of people in affected areas.
While I can understand your desire to keep the people of West Virginia content by attempting to keep their coal-dependent livelihood intact, in the long run those people and the rest of the country would be better off with cleaner air and water. Training and reeducation can find new jobs and roles for those affected by the downturn in the industry, but it is much harder to repair a damaged environment. I urge you to reconsider your position on this bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Brian Stansberry