The Associated Press reports that the Kentucky Legislature took a vote on Thursday, February 24, 2011 on a symbolic resolution declaring that the EPA is over-regulating the state’s coal industry. The proposed resolution contends that the EPA has violated federal law - as well as the Kentucky and United States Constitutions - by blocking the opening of new mines. The resolution would ultimately declare Kentucky a “sanctuary state,” free from the authority of the EPA. State Senator Brandon Smith, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, is sponsoring the resolution. While he believes that the resolution is popular, he does not think that it will be enforceable. “I’m not foolish enough to believe we are going to make [the EPA] do anything,” Smith said. “But we have to get back to where we feel like they’re not the enemy, that they’re not trying to shut us down.” Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett characterized the resolution as “a message about protecting Kentucky jobs and our economy from appointed bureaucrats in Washington D.C.”
Although the resolution would be unenforceable, it reflects a national campaign by lawmakers against the authority of the EPA. For example, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has already proposed a $1.9 billion cut the amount of money requested for the EPA this year by President Obama.
This article was authored by Douglas J. Crouse, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author see here.