What: All Issues : Environment : Clean Water/Water Conservation : (H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke permits given for mountaintop mining projects. (The EPA was authorized to revoke permits if it determined that such mining posed an environmental threat to nearby water sources, wildlife, and fisheries.) (2011 house Roll Call 135)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke permits given for mountaintop mining projects. (The EPA was authorized to revoke permits if it determined that such mining posed an environmental threat to nearby water sources, wildlife, and fisheries.)
house Roll Call 135     Feb 18, 2011
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Progressive Position
Progressive Result
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This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) prohibiting federal funds from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke permits given for mountaintop mining projects. The EPA was authorized to revoke permits if it determined that such mining posed an environmental threat to nearby water sources, wildlife, and fisheries. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

McKinley urged support for his amendment: “On January 13, 2011, the EPA took an unprecedented action by retroactively revoking a lawfully issued 4-year-old permit for the Spruce No. 1 surface mine in Logan County, West Virginia….EPA's veto at Spruce mine caused the loss of 253 mining jobs and 298 indirect jobs in West Virginia. In addition, it prevented the investment of nearly $250 million. The EPA's action has had a chilling effect on many types of companies, all of which rely on the certainty of the permitting process in order to make crucial business planning decisions. It's virtually impossible for companies to take the necessary steps to obtain financing and create jobs if they must endure the threat of retroactive revocation of the very permits that allow them to do business.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) opposed the amendment: “Only in the most egregious instances has EPA used this authority. They should have the right to pull permits when companies carelessly and seriously harm the environment. That's EPA's responsibility. It's understandable that mining companies don't want any restriction on their mining, but it's not excusable for this Congress to prevent the EPA from carrying out its lawful responsibilities and not to heed the long-term health impacts on the American people and of the quality of the water in these regions.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 240-182. Voting “yea” were 223 Republicans and 17 Democrats. 168 Democrats and 14 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment prohibiting funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke permits given for mountaintop mining projects.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss